UPDATE: Lisa Bloom resigns. See below.
On Friday’s broadcast of “CNN Tonight,” attorney Gloria Allred, who has represented a number of clients in high-profile sexual harassment and discrimination cases, denied she was critical of her daughter Lisa Bloom for her decision to represent Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein has been under fire after a recent New York Times report revealed he had been engaged in decades of alleged sexual harassment of women. Bloom, who like her mother has also represented clients in high-profile sexual discrimination cases, was retained by Weinstein.
Allred issued a statement reacting to Bloom’s decision but argued it wasn’t a criticism of her daughter and added that Weinstein was “very fortunate” to have her on his team.
Partial transcript as follows:
DON LEMON, HOST “CNN TONIGHT”: Accusations of sexual harassment against the powerful movie producer Harvey Weinstein is rocking Hollywood. “The New York Times” reporting the allegation span three decades and include at least eight legal settlements with women. Weinstein saying he plans to take a leave of absence as co-chairman of the Weinstein company. Joining me now is Attorney Gloria Allred whose daughter Attorney Lisa Bloom is on Harvey Weinstein’s legal team. Thank you so much for coming in. I want to read the statement. You said, had I been asked by the Weinstein, Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined because I do not represent individuals accused of sexual harassment. Explain that to me.
GLORIA ALLRED, ALLRED, MAROKO AND GOLDBERG: That is true. I’ve been a lawyer for 42 years, we are the leading women’s law firm in the United States. We don’t represent persons accused of sexually harassing victims. But that is not a statement of criticism of my daughter. That is just a statement of whom my law firm is. She has a separate law firm. I don’t second-guess her choices or criticize her choices and she doesn’t second-guess my choices of clients, nor does she criticize them. So that is how I feel. And I think the real issue is, men who sexually harass women on the job. And that is really, really significant.
LEMON: I want to talk about that. Let’s finish this particular conversation and then I want to talk to you about that. But Lisa is on, I know Lisa like I know you. She represents women who have been abused, sexual assaulted, so on and so forth. Why do you think she chose to represent Harvey?
ALLRED: I don’t know because I never asked her. But she has a general practice. And she makes her decisions about who her clients are going to be and who she accepts. She is an outstanding attorney. And all I can say is Harvey Weinstein is very fortunate to have her as his lawyer and adviser.
LEMON: I think it is only fair, I’m just going to read her statement, she says, I have told Harvey that times have changed. It is 2017 and he needs to evolve to a higher standard. I have found Harvey to be refreshingly candid and receptive to my message. He has acknowledged the mistakes he has made and going to therapy. He is an old dinosaur learning new ways. So would you consider representing anyone who alleges that they are victims of his actions?
ALLRED: Yes. I would have no problem representing a person who alleges that she is a victim of Harvey.
LEMON: So you would go against her in the courtroom?
ALLRED: I understand that Lisa is not retained to represent him in a legal case. She is there advise him. But not to represent him for the purposes of any settlement or any lawsuit.
LEMON: So let’s talk about the important thing that you wanted to talk about. Because you said the important thing is —
ALLRED: The important thing is sexual harassment in the workplace. Whether it’s the workplace in Hollywood, whether it’s the workplace in business, in sports, in other areas of life. It’s systematic, pervasive, it’s severe and it harms victims. It harms women. And I have represented men sexually harassed as well, by other men, and once in the case where the man was harassed by a woman. But it harms the victims financially, socially, physically, emotionally, every way you can think. Because they are in a no-win situation. If they say yes to the sexual overture advance, then maybe the guy is going to get tired of them later and they lose their job. If they say no, he could go into ego shock and they suffer job repercussion. And it is wrong to place them in the no-win situation.
LEMON: Do you think more women will come forward? Because we both covered the Cosby and you represented the victims do. You think more women will come forward?
ALLRED: Yes, I do.
LEMON: Thank you, Gloria Allred. Always a pleasure to have you on to.
UPDATE: Lisa Bloom in a tweet Saturday afternoon has said she has resigned her role as advisor to Weinstein.
I have resigned as an advisor to Harvey Weinstein.
My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement.
— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) October 7, 2017
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor