Attorney Gloria Allred is the mother of Lisa Bloom, an attorney who is now advising Harvey Weinstein on how not to sexually harass young women in luxurious hotel rooms. Thursday, Allred told the Wrap that she would never have agreed to defend Weinstein, effectively throwing her own daughter under the bus:
“Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined, because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment,” Allred said a statement Thursday released just after a bombshell New York Times story had settled at least eight cases of sexual harassment spanning decades.
“I only represent those who allege that they are victims of sexual harassment,” she added.
Lisa Bloom is best known for representing alleged victims of sexual harassment. She represented several of the women who accused Bill O’Reilly. When O’Reilly announced he was leaving the network in April, Bloom told Variety, “This is what happens when women speak our truth: we can slay dragons.” And Bloom also represented one of the women accusing Donald Trump of harassment.
So why would Bloom switch sides and act as an adviser and defender of Harvey Weinstein, a man accused of the same kind of behavior? One possible explanation: They have an ongoing business relationship. From the Wrap:
In April, Weinstein optioned her book “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” as part of its plan for a six-part Trayvon Martin docuseries. It’ll be co-executive produced with Jay-Z.
“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” is set to debut in 2018 on the Paramount Network, which is the new rebrand for Spike TV. It’ll tell the story of a Florida teen who shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman.
Bloom is currently making the rounds on television offering a he‘s-turned-over-a-new-leaf defense of Weinstein. This morning Bloom seemed to forget whose side she was on and admit Weinstein’s conduct represented illegal sexual harassment:
“This is a real pattern over 30 years. This is like textbook sexual harassment,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said.
“It’s gross, yeah,” Ms. Bloom replied.
“It’s illegal,” Mr. Stephanopoulos said.
“Yes. You know, I agree,” Ms. Bloom said. “See, you have to understand that, yes, I’m here as his adviser. I’m not defending him in any sexual harassment cases — there aren’t any sexual harassment cases. I’m working with a guy who has behaved badly over the years, who is genuinely remorseful, who says, you know, ‘I have caused a lot of pain.’ ”
Here’s the video of Bloom’s interview. The admission comes about 6:30 into this clip:
But in another interview published today by the Associated Press, Bloom takes a lawyerly approach saying, “Sexual harassment is a legal term that has a particular meaning. The conduct has to rise to a certain level.” She continued, “He does not admit to sexual harassment. What he does admit to is misconduct.”
In any case, making the rounds as part of what looks like a crisis communications effort on behalf of the accused really does seem like a change of pace for Bloom. Why is she doing it? Weinstein allegedly told some of the young women he invited to hotel rooms over the years that he could help their careers. That was his leverage in these situations, whether it was spoken out loud or not. As the owner of the rights to her book, he would seem to have a similar power to help or hurt Lisa Bloom. That has to be a factor in her sudden turnabout, doesn’t it?