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How Gloria Allred became the go-to attorney for high-profile sexual assault cases




LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10:  Attorney Gloria Allred and her client Louisette Geiss (not pictured) speak during a press conference about her client’s allegations of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein at Allred’s office October 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women.  (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Attorney Gloria Allred and her client Louisette Geiss (not pictured) speak during a press conference about her client’s allegations of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein at Allred’s office October 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Weinstein has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

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It seems to happen every time a public figure is outed for sexual misconduct. Los Angeles-based power attorney Gloria Allred is brought in and stands beside a victim to represent her before the cameras.

That's what viewers saw Monday. Allred held a press conference with the fifth woman to accuse Alabama Senate candidate, Roy Moore, of inappropriate behavior. To explain how Allred got to be the go-to in controversial cases involving women's rights, Take Two's Josie Huang spoke with LA Times staff writer Corina Knoll.

Why Gloria Allred seems to get all the high-profile sex assault cases

She's obviously a well-known name. She's established herself as someone who takes victims of sexual assault under her wing. It isn't just because she's good at publicity, but there's been this spike of sexual assault victims in recent years who have wanted to come forward. If you're looking for a platform, they know Allred can provide that. She's become a confidante and advocate.

Allred does not seek out her clients

When a colleague and I interviewed her, we were told by a partner in her firm that they do not initiate contact, that clients are referred to them or directly call her office. She's created this very public persona where people know to call her. Victims are not just reaching out to her for PR, but if you watch, she puts her arm around them, they trust her, they feel safe with her....
The interesting thing about Gloria Allred is she takes on clients who don't have a courtroom case. They have nothing to win because maybe the statute of limitations has passed in terms of criminal charges, but they seek out Allred because they've decided they want to publicly say what happened to them. With Allred they get this built-in platform. She'll arrange it so that people will be able to hear them.

Allred's personal experience as a rape victim may have shaped her career

She wrote about it in her book, and she mentions she was vacationing in Mexico and somebody raped her and I think that helped shape her career and how she approached law. I think she very much believes that victims of sexual assault need a chance to speak out and shaped her wanting to be a civil rights lawyer.