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Thursday, June 25, 2020

"Feminist" Lawyer Gloria Alred

And then there was Gloria Alred, the crusading feminist lawyer whose law firm, in 2004, negotiated a nondisclosure agreement for one of Harvey Weinstein's victims. [According to Jodi Kantor and Megan Towohey in their book Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story that Helped Ignite a Movement] the firm pocketed 40 percent of the settlement. "While the attorney cultivated a reputation for giving female victims a voice, some of her work and revenue was in negotiating secret settlements that silenced them and buried allegations of sexual harassment and assault." Alred went on to do the same with women who had been abused by Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and the Olympics gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. In 2017, after a group of lawyers in California persuaded a state legislator to consider a bill that would ban confidentiality clauses muzzling sexual harassment victims, Alred denounced the move and threatened to go on the attack. The legislator, Connie Leyva, quickly shelved the idea. (A year later, Leyva introduced such a bill and it was signed into law.)

Susan Falludi, The New York Times Book Review, September 27, 2019

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