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The feminist lawyer going after America's powerful men

From Harvey Weinstein to Donald Trump: meet Gloria Allred.

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The feminist lawyer going after America's powerful men

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As more claims of sexual assault and harassment surface each week, a prominent women’s rights lawyer has called on The Weinstein Co. to set up a fund to compensate the alleged victims of its former co-chairman, Harvey Weinstein.

More than 50 women have so far accused the disgraced Hollywood producer of misconduct. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex but has since lost his job and said he was seeking therapy.

“Saying that he feels the pain or he’s sorry about anybody’s hurt or offended – that’s not enough,” lawyer Gloria Allred said at the annual Women’s Media Center Awards Thursday (Oct 26) in New York.

“We want deeds, not just words,” she added. “We want them (The Weinstein Co.) to agree to a process where a retired judge can look at each claim, listen to the alleged victim, and decide if there is evidence that she is a victim and if so award her damages accordingly to proof of trial from that fund that the board need to establish, and that Harvey Weinstein should establish.”

Allred attended the event with former Weinstein Co. production assistant Mimi Haleyi. At a news conference this week, Haleyi claimed Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006.



Taking on President Trump

Allred is used to going after rich and powerful men, including O.J. Simpson, Bill Cosby and Tiger Woods.

She’s now also representing former ‘The Apprentice’ contestant Summer Zervos, who says Donald Trump assaulted her in a hotel room 10 years ago – a claim he denies.

“They (Trump’s team) have filed a motion to dismiss our case… We filed our opposition. Next Tuesday, on Halloween, President Trump’s reply to our opposition is due. After that, the court in New York, which is where we have filed it, at some point soon, will set a date for an argument hearing on whether or not our case should be dismissed or allowed to proceed,” Allred said.

She explained why she never tires from taking these cases.

“Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and sex discrimination is against the law because it interferes with a woman’s right to enjoy equal employment opportunity. It puts her in a no-win situation.

“If she says no to the sexual harasser, he may go into ego shock and retaliate against her because he’s upset she has rejected his sexual advances.

“If she says yes, he may get tired of her, and also not employ her or terminate her, or in some way negatively impact her life. It’s wrong. That’s why it’s against the law and that is why were are pursuing justice for the victim because none of her daughters should have to be subjected to that,” she said.