Attorney Lisa Bloom has spent decades portraying herself as a preeminent defender of women’s rights, but, according to a new book on the Weinstein sex assault scandal and the ensuing #MeToo movement, Bloom tossed her moral compass and proposed maligning alleged victims of accused rapist Harvey Weinstein—provided the disgraced movie would pay a steep fee.
As the New York Times reports, Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, authors of She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, obtained a copy of a confidential memo Bloom sent to Weinstein in 2016 in the wake of actress Rose McGowan going public with assault allegations against Weinstein after maintaining nearly 20 years of silence, and trying to repair a career McGowan claims Weinstein had tried to destroy.
In the memo, Bloom plays up her bona fides as a victims’ advocate as the reason she would be perfect to silence McGowan by hurting the actress’ reputation.
“I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them,” Bloom wrote, and laid out a playbook of how to scare off accusers or paint them as liars. One tactic Bloom suggested for dealing with McGowan: “We can place an article re her becoming increasingly unglued, so that when someone Googles her this is what pops up and she’s discredited.”
Bloom also visited the offices of the New York Times with Weinstein to explain to journalists why his accusers, including Ashley Judd, were “unreliable and mentally unstable.”
The price tag for Bloom riding shotgun in Harvey’s defense? A cool $895 an hour.
In a 2018 Los Angeles profile, Bloom bemoaned the fallout she faced when it was initially reported that she’d assisted Weinstein in a professional capacity by issuing a public statement on his behalf. “It was probably one of the worst times that I’ve ever seen [for her], or at least that I’ve witnessed,” Bloom’s daughter Sarah, also an attorney, said. “She showed us some of the stuff that was pouring into her email, just the worst things you can imagine saying to a person.”
Well before the most recent revelations about Bloom’s efforts to assist Weinstein came to light, McGowan published a lengthy screed against the attorney on her Facebook page, saying, “Your very name makes my stomach clench with a stressed tightness that takes my breath away. As does your mercenary act of depravity. Did you think of how it would affect victims to see you champion a rapist? How it felt to those you once ‘fought for,’ for them to know that you used them. You remember them right? They were the victims of assaults, women you’d previously helped. You lied to those hurt women and hid your true character. You wanted a shortcut to fame.”
Around the same time, Bloom had taken on Kathy Griffin as a client in the wake of the comedian’s controversial Donald Trump-severed head photo shoot. Griffin later called Bloom a “fame whore,” and excoriated the lawyer for pushing her to appear at a press conference that went awry. “Yes, I got Bloomed,” Griffin said in a Facebook video. “That horrible press conference that was a disaster…. I’m not gonna sue Lisa Bloom. I don’t think Lisa Bloom should be shot, like people wish me, but there’s my fucking statement.”
Bloom tried to disassociate herself from the Weinstein drama, saying she’d worked with him thinking that her actions would, somehow, get him to apologize for his behavior, even as she had attacked the reputations of those accusing him of that behavior. She said she “deeply regretted” representing Weinstein, and that it was a “colossal mistake.”
Even Bloom’s mother, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, had spoken out against her daughter’s involvement with Weinstein. “I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment,” Allred said in a statement, adding, “I would consider representing anyone who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel.” The two were estranged for several months before reaching a détente.
Weinstein is facing five felony counts of sexual assault in New York, including two new counts added last month. His case has been postponed until January, 2020, when Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra is expected to testify that Weinstein raped her in Manhattan during the winter of 1993-1994. Weinstein maintains his innocence on all charges.
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