Allred in 2012
Gloria Rachel Bloom|
July 3, 1941
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
University of Pennsylvania (BA)|
New York University (MA)
Loyola Marymount University (JD)
|Occupation||Attorney, human rights activist|
|Employer||Allred, Maroko & Goldberg|
(m. 1960; div. 1962)
(m. 1968; div. 1987)
Gloria Rachel Allred (née Bloom; born July 3, 1941) is an American women's rights attorney notable for taking high-profile and often controversial cases, particularly those involving the protection of women's rights.
Gloria Rachel Bloom was born into a Jewish working-class family of Philadelphia on July 3, 1941. Her father, Morris, worked as a salesman; her British-born mother, Stella, was a housewife. After graduating from the Philadelphia High School for Girls, she attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her first husband, Peyton Bray. The couple had their only child, Lisa, on September 20, 1961, and divorced shortly after. Lisa Bloom is also an attorney and is best known as a former Court TV anchor.
Gloria Bloom moved back in with her parents and continued her education. In 1963, she earned a bachelor's degree in English, graduating with honors. Over strong objections from her professor, she wrote her honors thesis on black writers. She tried her hand at a variety of jobs before she decided to become a teacher, taking a position at Benjamin Franklin High School. She began work on a graduate degree at New York University, where she became interested in the civil rights movement. After earning a master's degree, she became a teacher and, in 1966, moved to Los Angeles, California, and lived in Watts. She worked for the Los Angeles Teachers Association and taught at Jordan High School and Fremont High School.
In her autobiography she describes how, during a vacation in Acapulco in 1966, she was raped at gunpoint. She discovered she was pregnant and sought an abortion. Abortion was illegal for doctors to perform at the time so Allred had a back-alley abortion. After undergoing the procedure, she began hemorrhaging and became infected, only recovering after being hospitalized. She did not report the rape, she said, because she didn't think anyone would believe her.
In 1968, she married William Allred. She enrolled in Southwestern University School of Law and later transferred to Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles. Allred graduated and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1975. Allred divorced her husband in 1987, retaining her married name.
In a legal career that has spanned four decades, Allred has represented a wide variety of clients in civil rights suits that have involved sexual harassment, women's rights, wrongful termination, and employment discrimination. The New Republic has called her "a longtime master of the press conference." She often takes high-profile cases, using press conferences and appearances on television to much effect. Allred has represented many clients in suits against celebrities, including those against Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, Arnold Schwarzenegger,Herman Cain,David Boreanaz,Scott Lee Cohen,Anthony Weiner,Sacha Baron Cohen, and Esai Morales.
Allred started the firm Allred, Maroko & Goldberg with fellow Loyola graduates Michael Maroko and Nathan Goldberg in January 1976. In 1979, Allred represented seven children and their parents in a lawsuit against the Sav-On Drugstore chain to stop the store from designating separate sections for boys and girls toys. In 1981, while California State Senator John G. Schmitz was leading hearings on outlawing abortion, Allred presented him with a chastity belt. Schmitz retaliated in a press release, calling her a "slick butch lawyeress." She sued him for libel, and eventually secured a settlement of $20,000 and an apology.
In 1985, Allred, along with Catharine MacKinnon, drafted a version of the Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance for Los Angeles County. The legislation failed to pass the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. In 1987, Allred took on the then all-male Friars Club of Beverly Hills, an exclusive private club, over its membership discrimination policies. The Friars Club eventually allowed Allred and five other women to use the club's health facilities, after Allred displayed early skills in effective use of the media.
Allred wrote a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee in 1992 asking them to investigate the actions of Oregon Senator Bob Packwood, who had been the subject of a newspaper article that detailed his history of sexual harassment. She kept pressure on the Committee and urged Packwood to release his diaries. The Committee eventually voted for his expulsion, and he resigned.
In 1995, Allred represented eleven-year-old Katrina Yeaw in Yeaw v. Boy Scouts of America, a suit against the Boy Scouts of America to determine whether the organization had the right to exclude girls from being members. That same year, she represented Nicole Brown Simpson's family during the O. J. Simpson murder trial. In August 1997, she represented the model Kelly Fisher when she sued Dodi Fayed for allegedly breaking off their engagement to begin his highly publicized relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales. The suit was dropped not long after Diana and Fayed died in Paris that August.
Allred represented Melrose Place actress Hunter Tylo in 1997 when producer Aaron Spelling fired her because she was pregnant. A jury awarded Tylo $4.8 million. The case was important in establishing the rights of actors to continue work if they become pregnant.
After pop singer Michael Jackson held his son over a hotel balcony in Berlin in 2002, Allred wrote a letter to California's Child Protective Services, asking for an investigation into the safety of Jackson's children and spoke on CNN about the subject. She also briefly represented a young boy in 1993 who had accused Jackson of sexual abuse. Later in 2002, Allred represented the family of Gwen Araujo, a transgender teen who was brutally beaten to death when it was learned that she had been assigned male at birth.
In 2004, Allred represented Amber Frey when Frey was a witness in the criminal case against Scott Peterson. On February 24, 2004, Allred and her law firm, Allred, Maroko and Goldberg, filed the first lawsuit in California challenging the denial of marriage licenses for same gender couples as being unconstitutional. She took the case pro bono for Robin Tyler and Diane Olson and Rev. Troy Perry and his husband Phillip Ray De Blieck. The case went to the California Supreme Court where on May 15, 2008 she won a decision affirming the right of same sex couples to marry in California. She represented three former Circuit City employees on behalf of a large plaintiff class in an age discrimination lawsuit against that company after it fired 3,400 workers nationwide in April 2007.
In a March 2008 complaint against the TSA, Allred represented a client who was given pliers and told to remove her nipple rings at a Lubbock, Texas, airport. In April 2008, it was reported that she had been hired by the family of the teenager who had been beaten and filmed by eight Florida teenagers. She also appeared on Today with Jessica Gibson, who was counter-suing Rob Lowe for sexual harassment.
On July 30, 2008, Allred filed a complaint with federal regulators against Downey Savings and Loan Association regarding check-cashing procedures. Marc Retmier, a 19-year-old US Navy Hospitalman, was killed in action in Afghanistan in June 2008. Downey Savings refused to immediately cash his family's military bereavement checks, and Marc Retmier's family were forced to look elsewhere to secure funding necessary to pay for his funeral services.
In December 2009, Allred was retained by Rachel Uchitel after media sources alleged Uchitel had been having an affair with married golfer Tiger Woods. Allred also represented Joslyn James, a pornographic actress and Woods's alleged mistress.
On May 14, 2010, in a news conference held at Allred's office, English actress Charlotte Lewis alleged that director Roman Polanski had sexually abused her in his Paris apartment when she was 16 years old. In June 2010 she was hired by Debrahlee Lorenzana, a former bank employee who had drawn wide public attention after alleging she was fired for being too attractive. In August 2010, Allred represented Jodie Fisher, whose sexual harassment claim revealed expense-account irregularities that led to the resignation of HP CEO Mark Hurd.
Allred was visible in the 2010 California Gubernatorial race, going public as the lawyer for Nicky Diaz, a former domestic worker for Republican nominee Meg Whitman. Allred contended that Whitman employed Diaz for years while knowing that Diaz was an undocumented immigrant.
On April 27, 2011, Allred appeared at a press conference with the family of Justin Quinn, who was allegedly threatened at a San Francisco Giants baseball game by Braves coach Roger McDowell. Quinn had objected to McDowell's uttering of homophobic slurs and use of a baseball bat to simulate a sex act in the presence of his daughters.
On October 18, 2011, Allred won court approval to represent nine former middle-aged cocktail waitresses who were fired from their jobs at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey after they "did not look good enough" in new uniforms modeled after 1920s-era Flapper outfits. Resorts had sought to bar Allred from the discrimination lawsuit, arguing in court papers that her "flamboyant and headline-grabbing antics" would add nothing to the case.
On March 9, 2012, Allred called for an investigation into whether radio host Rush Limbaugh should be prosecuted in Florida under a 19th-century law against "maliciously imputing to [any woman] a want of chastity" for derogatory remarks he made regarding Sandra Fluke, who testified before House Democrats to advocate for free birth control. Allred commented: "Mr. Limbaugh targeted his attack on a young law student who was simply exercised [sic] her free speech and her right to testify before congress on a very important issue to millions of American women and he vilified her. ... He needs to face the consequences of his conduct in every way that is meaningful." Allred did not represent Fluke or have contact with her at the time of her remarks nor did the prosecutor's office respond to request for comment.
Also in 2012, Allred took on the case of Jenna Talackova, a Canadian transgender woman who was challenging her disqualification from the Miss Universe Canada pageant for not being a "naturally born" female. The Miss Universe organization ultimately reversed its decision before the case proceeded to the courts. In June 2012 Allred confirmed that she is representing a former girlfriend of Rudy Eugene, Eugene being the now deceased cannibal of the 2012 Miami cannibalism incident.
On October 4, 2013 Allred was hired by the wife of a critically injured motorcyclist Edwin Mieses, who was run over by Alexian Lien during the Hollywood Stuntz gang assault. Lien ran over Mieses with his SUV while Lien was being surrounded and threatened by Mieses and his motorcycle gang on Manhattan's West Side Highway. Fellow bikers later caught up with Lien and assaulted him. Allred told the press that Mieses, who suffered spinal injuries and two broken legs, was an "innocent victim" who was trying to "defuse the situation".
Allred is representing at least 28 women who accuse Bill Cosby of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and/or other sexual misconduct. She is also representing three women who accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct -- claims which Trump has denied, and which first arose during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
In 2017, former Allred client Kyle Hunter filed official complaints with both the State Bar of California and the District of Columbia Bar, alleging conflict of interest because Allred was in negotiations with CBS at the same time she was representing him in a lawsuit against CBS for employment discrimination. Allred issued a statement denying any wrongdoing and claiming the investigation was sparked by a failed extortion attempt.
On November 11, 2017, Allred held a press conference representing her client Beverly Young Nelson, as she made a statement alleging sexual assault perpetrated by Roy Moore when she was 16 years old.
Allred co-hosted a radio talkshow with Mark Taylor on KABC in Los Angeles for fourteen years. She also served as a panelist on the 1990 revival of television game show To Tell the Truth. On March 28, 2000, Allred was parodied on the animated TV show Family Guy, by a character named Gloria Ironbox voiced by Candice Bergen in an episode titled "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar". Allred appears as herself in the 2001 film Rat Race. On May 21, 2001 she was parodied on The Simpsons episode "Behind The Laughter" portraying a lawyer at the family table for Lisa Simpson. On June 27, 2001, she was parodied on South Park's episode Cripple Fight.
On September 12, 2011, Allred debuted in the court TV show We the People with Gloria Allred, a show using improv actors to reenact fictitious case scenarios. In April 2013, Allred appeared on the reality show RuPaul's Drag Race, interviewing and advising the final three contestants on selling themselves as "America's Next Drag Superstar". On November 27, 2016 Allred appeared as herself on the Epix Tv show Graves.
Allred's public statements and behavior have resulted in criticism. In 2012, The Atlantic described her as "the ambulance chaser of feminism" after she defended two women involved in a sexual battery lawsuit against actor John Travolta. The Daily Beast journalist Tricia Romano also labeled her as a "publicity hound." The New Republic journalist Jeffrey Rosen also described Allred as "a longtime master of the press conference."
Allred confirmed in a statement that she is being investigated by both the District of Columbia Bar and the California State Bar based on the same complaint by her former client, Los Angeles weather reporter Kyle Hunter.
Allred's record on the bar's website shows no history of discipline -- something she also noted in her statement. "I have a spotless record with the State Bar in the more than 40 years that I have been an attorney," says Allred. "I have no intention of allowing anyone to harm my reputation by making allegations against me which have no merit."