Five Things You Didn’t Know about Gloria Allred

When Gloria Allred said that she is representing thirty-three women who have accused Bill Cosby of misconduct, she stood for a press conference outside the courtyard where Cosby’s indecent assault case had just been declared a mistrial. Allred has been a women’s rights attorney in Los Angeles for decades, and her high profile draws the media like a magnet. Allred told the press that she hoped the prosecution would try the misconduct case again and declared “Justice will come.” Andrew Wyatt, Cosby’s spokesman, quoted Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton concerning the nature of power. He also included Allred as being part of a conspiracy of attorneys targeting Cosby.

It’s in Allred’s nature to take it all in stride. She’s been viewed as an exploiter of victimized clients and a manipulator of publicity and celebrity. She’s taken on female clients who have been allegedly mistreated by Hollywood’s powerful elite. Women who have decided to confront the likes of Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Charlie Sheen, Anthony Weiner, and Bill Cosby have embraced her law firm for the impact it has, and for the legal savvy which has made Allred famous. At 76, Allred is now the subject of the Netflix documentary Seeing Allred and the typically closed woman has started the process of revealing her extraordinary life.

Allred was a single mother.

Allred raised Lisa Bloom with difficulty and without child support. She worked instead. She worked days and nights and took on studies to earn her master’s degree. She was a teacher in the daytime. During the nighttime, she worked twice a week for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation as a substitute. She also commuted to New York from Philadelphia two times each week while she was working on her degree. She said about those years that her necessity was her motivation. She learned how to work hard and not complain about it from her father. She cared for her daughter in similar fashion. The two have had a close bond, but Allred publicly hurt Bloom by criticizing her daughter’s decision to represent Harvey Weinstein.

Allred was raped at gunpoint in Acapulco.

She became pregnant and had an illegal abortion. She had not other choice, as nothing else was available in 1966 California. She became infected and nearly died. But, she never spoke about it publicly until 1984. It was one of many factors which led her to become an advocate for other rape victims.

Allred is known to prefer St. John Knits.

The mid-tier clothing line became famous for its classic wool knit suits with luxury buttons, colors, and glittery embellishments. For decades, the company was a powerhouse of luxury apparel for mature women who could afford to purchase the best. Based in Irvine, California, the knitwear company reached the $400-million- dollar mark with its conservative, professional clothing. The double-knit clothing is known for being wrinkle and crease resistant. Allred has been seen often wearing the attractive knitwear- so often, that the designer suits are considered her signature. She’s also known to dress frequently all in red; clearly honoring her name.

Allred considers four people her only friends.

In 2012, she told Los Angeles magazine that her daughter is one of them. Goldberg and Maroko, the partners in her law firm are two more. She met them in the 1970s when they were students at Loyola Law School. The fourth is Fern Brown Caplan. She met Fern in high school on their very first day. Allred hasn’t had much energy or time to make new friends. She tries to conserve her energy for legal battles. After being divorced twice, she doesn’t date younger or older men either. She’s not interested in relationships because relationships take time and must be nurtured.

Allred heard the word “feminism” for the first time in her thirties.

She was just 33 years old at the time and had graduated from law school. She founded Allred, Maroko & Goldberg, the firm which started with small employment cases about sexual discrimination, criminal defense cases appointed by the court, and other civil cases. It was 1976. By 1977, she attended a Los Angeles feminist summit. At the time, she was serving the National Organization for Women as a Los Angeles chapter coordinator. She was inspired by the British suffragettes in Shoulder to Shoulder, written by Midge Mackenzie. Allred modeled her entire career on feminists who lived their lives challenging society for justice.

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