Her Two-Decade Legal Battle with the Catholic Church
Allred’s currently in the spotlight for her representation of more than a dozen of Bill Cosby’s alleged victims, but she’s been an advocate for sexual assault survivors throughout her career. Long before sexual abuse was acknowledged as a systemic issue within the Catholic Church, Allred sued the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on behalf of Rita Milla in 1984. Milla would eventually be awarded $500,000 in 2007 as part of a $660 million settlement between the Church and hundreds of abuse survivors — 25 years after her daughter was born following her assault by Father Valentine Tugade.
Getting Called a “Slick Butch Lawyeress” (and Winning $20,000 for It)
In 1981, then-California State Senator John Schmitz, a Republican from Newport Beach, held a series of hearings on abortion restrictions. (Shockingly, he was in favor.) Allred, awesomely, presented Schmitz with a chastity belt during said hearings. Schmitz, less awesomely, issued a press release titled “Attack of the Bulldykes” afterward, describing the audience as “hard, Jewish, and (arguably) female” and Allred herself as a “slick, butch lawyeress.” Allred filed a $10 million libel suit, of which she was awarded $20,000, plus the satisfaction of Schmitz publicly declaring she is “not a slick butch lawyeress.”
The O.J. Simpson Trial
In which she played a bit part, representing the family of Nicole Brown Simpson. Worth including, if only for the Ryan Murphy crossover potential. Though there’s no shortage of celebrity adversaries from over the years: Rob Lowe, Roman Polanski, Rush Limbaugh, Aaron Spelling, Michael Jackson, and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman have all been on the wrong side of Allred’s public callouts.
Representing… Tiger Woods’ Kindergarten Teacher?
Part of what makes Allred such compelling source material is her combination of championing the disenfranchised with championing the… not particularly disenfranchised. A three-dimensional portrait of her career would thus have to include the less illustrious side of her client roster, including two of Tiger Woods’ ex-girlfriends and even his kindergarten teacher, requesting a “retraction and an apology” for a passage in his memoir in which he claimed she’d failed to protect him from older students who bullied him with racist slurs. How, exactly, is this on par with some of the more serious wrongs Allred’s sought to right? Good question for a series to answer!