Gloria Allred loves her some publicity, but the high profile attorney's press generally focuses on her client's drama, not hers. So the fact that she's now fighting off a lawsuit for predatory business practices puts her in a unique position. But maybe that's a good thing for a lawyer who wants a reputation as a crusader. Also, the guy who's suing Allred doesn't exactly sound polished, so with the spotlight shining on them both, he's the one squinting.
Attorney Okorie Okorocha, who CNN's Allan Duke says "specializes in drunk driving trials," says Allred swooped in and stole away his client, a male massage therapist suing John Travolta for allegedly groping him. Allred says the client contacted her, but Okorocha claims Allred solicited the client, and he has text messages between himself and his client to prove it. The problem is, they also make him sound... well, just read them.
When the client said he was talking to Allred, Okorocha wrote: "She ain't been in a courtroom in 20 years. Just doing stupid ass press conference side shows." Later, he told CNN: "I get the case to national prominence and then someone who only does press conferences and sideshows, and doesn't actually go to court or do trials, just steps in and says, 'I'll take the clients.' " So far, Okorocha sounds like a complaining minor-leaguer, while Allred's staid response that "we have great confidence that we will obtain a judgment against him for defamation" shows poise.
Okorocha is clearly very frustrated, and not alone in characterizing Allred as a ruthless hunter of publicity. A former client of hers (the "sexy banker" who claimed Citibank fired her inappropriately for being too attractive) is also trashing Allred in the press Tuesday, claiming she walked off the case once the cameras went away. Unfortunately for Allred's detractors, if all she's after is headlines, then they're not exactly doing her harm by thrusting her into them. It's been said a million times, but Oscar Wilde put it best: "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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