With one of the busiest news cycles in recent memory, we welcome back powerhouse attorney and CYInterview frequent guest Gloria Allred to share with us her analysis of some current events.
Listen to the entire Gloria Allred interview:
In 1984, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro was the vice presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Ferraro would become the first woman on a major presidential ticket. Gloria tells me what Ferraro meant to the women’s movement.
“She really was so important to the whole women’s movement besides obviously being the first woman who was the first one to be the vice presidential nominee of a major political party, who was a woman. That itself was huge because obviously she was a role model for young girls and for others who aspired to be the best they could be into the highest levels of political power. In addition obviously, she was a congresswoman, she was a former prosecutor and she was a person who really deeply cared about women’s rights.
That is very, very important because there are women who aspire to high office and some of whom get elected, who are not women’s rights activists and she was. She was proud to be a person who stood for equality, for equal protection under the law, a woman who was pro-choice and even though she was a Catholic. She broke a lot of barriers just by running as a vice presidential nominee because there’s so many stereotypes about women, so much sexism and, of course, Hillary Rhodham Clinton experienced still a lot of that sexism when she ran to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
Geraldine Ferraro was just one of a kind. I really felt very, very sad about her loss. I did briefly meet her at actually a women’s rights event. She was just so authentic and so personable and so passionate about what she believed that it just enhanced the respect that I had for her and the sorrow that I feel at her loss.”
Focusing on the death of Elizabeth Taylor, Allred believes her ability to spread awareness about AIDS was the most important contribution by the legendary actress.
“She was a star in every sense of the word and then of course more importantly is what she did for AIDS and raising a lot of money for AIDS and bringing awareness and all of that was extremely important. Obviously I disagreed with her about her feelings of Michael Jackson, who she supported…I prefer to look at the positive and what she did for AIDS, which I think was the most important contribution of her life…She used that star power for a good cause and that’s to be commended.”
Last week former NFL star Lawrence Taylor pleaded guilty to one count of patronizing a prostitute and one count of sexual misconduct. Allred was present last week with the teenage girl, who was the alleged victim in the event that occurred in May of 2010. Gloria wants everyone to know her client is not a prostitute and was forced unwillingly to perform sexual activities for money.
“The sentence that he received last week for those crimes was probation and a requirement that he registered as a sex offender. I was appalled as she was by the charge patronizing of a prostitute to which he was permitted to plead guilty and also by the sentence that he received because my client who was 16 years old and not a prostitute when she met Mr. Taylor in a hotel room, she was just a young woman who refused to have sex for money. In fact because she at first refused to go to Mr. Taylor’s hotel room, she alleges she was punched in the face causing her a black eye which became swollen and causing her nose to bleed and in addition she was stomped on and kicked by someone, not Mr. Taylor, to get her there.
She only agreed to go to Mr. Taylor’s room because she was afraid that if she continued to refuse to go she would receive yet another beating. Then in fact as she was being taken to the hotel, she secretly texted trying to get help and be rescued. So she wasn’t a prostitute. She was a terrified young girl and it’s a disgrace that she should be labeled as a prostitute when she is and she was a crime victim…Both the victim and I feel it’s very unfair that Mr. Taylor is only receiving probation for his crime and we believe that he had many clues that his victim was under 18 and also that she was not in the room voluntarily…
It should’ve been obvious to him that she was a minor. It should also have been obvious that she had been coerced into being with him…The system failed this victim by providing the perpetrator of the crime against her with a light sentence…The District Attorney came out at the end of the news conference and told the press, look, she’s not a prostitute, she’s was a sex trafficking victim, but people still think that she was. He should never have allowed Lawrence Taylor to plead to that.”
Allred isn’t shocked about new reports claiming CBS might want Charlie Sheen back on Two and a Half Men, after terminating his contact. She says for most businesses it still comes down to the dollars and cents.
“For most businesses it’s about follow the money. So most business will want a person back if they’re making a lot of money for them and that was the number one television show for CBS as far as I know and he was the star of the show. So it wouldn’t surprise me if they would want him back…I think they would need to do significant bridge building. Now whether Mr. Sheen is capable of that or Mr. Lorre is even interested in that, I don’t know. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they would be trying. Whether they’ll be successful I don’t know.”
One of MTV’s teen mothers – from the show Teen Mom 2 – has recently dealt with some legal exposure. Over the weekend, Jenelle Evans was alleged to have been involved in a fight. I asked Gloria her views on how these teen mom shows on MTV were making teenage pregnancy seem mainstream.
“The trend is more and more teenage pregnancy and that’s sad. I contribute that by the way not only to the glamorization of pregnancy for teens, but also for the lack of knowledge of birth control because we don’t really give proper sex education in many schools because it’s a political issues. A woman’s womb and a teenager’s womb is still a political issue and a lot of people want to keep teenagers ignorant about how they can protect themselves. I think ignorance only leads to pregnancy obviously…Obviously there’s a lot of interest in it, that’s why it’s a successful show, but it does concern me.”
Finally, the über-attorney makes a valid point that, perhaps, reporters and fans have overlooked in their discussions of how much actual dancing Natalie Portman did for her Oscar winning role in Black Swan. The controversy regarding Ms. Portman’s dancing probably keeps the film in the public’s mind. That is likely positive since its DVD release is today.
“Well, it’s probably good. It keeps the film in the news so more people will see it. I wouldn’t be surprised if people who are associated with the film are happy that there’s a controversy because, from a marketing point of view, it’s probably good for the film to have it still mentioned.”