Gloria Allred on Herman Cain: 'He's in very big trouble'

theGRIO Q&A - Gloria Allred has strong words for Herman Cain, relating in a recent phone interview with theGrio that, 'He's in very big trouble.'...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Gloria Allred has strong words for Herman Cain, relating in a recent interview with theGrio that, “He’s in very big trouble.” She pointedly addressed the status of Cain’s affairs when asked to comment on her links to the demise of several high-profile black men — Herman Cain being the latest in a string including O.J. Simpson and Tiger Woods. When asked over email to address this allegation, Allred responded: ”[I] disagree with you that there is a trend of naming ‘black men as the perpetrators of wrongful acts.’” She added that she does not chase these high-profile cases. Her clients come to her, and many of them are black women.

Allred agreed to speak with with theGrio in greater depth over the phone to make a case for herself as an advocate for victims, not an exploiter of scandal. Her words on these matters add even more fuel to the fire of public opinion surrounding Herman Cain.

theGrio: How did you come to represent Sharon Bialek?

Gloria Allred: I came to represent her because she contacted me. After I had an opportunity to speak with her and find corroboration for her claims, I decided that I would be very happy and honored to support her.

How do you feel about Herman Cain? Do you think he would make a good president?

Character and honesty are always an issue for anyone that is going to be in the White House. Given the claims of numerous women about his misconduct, I think that his character and his honesty are definitely an issue.

He has called all five women [who have accused him of harassment] liars. One has to ask: Should we believe the five women? Or the one man who has a motive to deny? He has called a number of them troubled. But I think that he is the one who is troubled. I think he’s in very big trouble.

He’s made numerous unfounded attacks. For example, he said that when Sharon and I spoke out that the Democratic machine was behind that. He presented no facts whatsoever to support that. And it turns out it was completely a lie, because my client is a registered Republican.

Do you feel responsible for potentially derailing his campaign?

I don’t know if it is derailed, because he hasn’t said he’s quite stepped down yet. He said he’s going to be thinking about it and talking to his family tomorrow. To his wife. One would think he would have talked to his wife before this. When someone comes out as the last woman did, Ms. White, with an allegation of a 13-year affair one would think that he and his wife would immediately be on the phone!

Should Herman Cain should be prosecuted for sexual assault in the case of Sharon Bialek?

My client felt that it was. But she is not looking for any kind of action such as that. It was many, many years ago, and if there were any such action that were possible the statute of limitations would long have passed, and therefore it would not even be possible at this point.

Many of your cases involving sexual misconduct end in settlements. Do you think that settling cases outside of court helps or hurts the issue of women’s rights?

I’m a private attorney. My first duty — and frankly my only duty — is to my clients. So, it’s whatever is going to serve my client best. I would say almost all civil rights law firms in the nation end up at some point resolving cases without a trial. In fact, it is the usual. If we can get more for her — or him, but generally it’s her — by way of settlement, then we would. And we’ve won substantial victories and amounts for our clients through confidential settlements.

Do you go to trial yourself regularly?

We don’t have that many trials. We have some and we have a record of winning. We have won precedent-setting cases in the United States Court of Appeals, with published decisions. So we have enough of a track record of success that many of our cases are going to be resolved prior to trial.

A case you recently took on is the that of Christina Fierro regarding former NFL star Lawrence Taylor.

Yes, it’s an important one.

Ms. Fierro says that she wants to sue Taylor in federal court to speak out against sex trafficking, but some believe that by exposing her identity it creates an exploitative situation for her. Would you comment on that?

They don’t know Christina, I do. And this is her decision. She’s an adult. She’s entitled to make that decision. She’s not the criminal. She’s the victim. And she would like to have a voice.

Obviously, Mr. Taylor’s attorney would like her not to have a voice or even have her face seen. He would rather not be reminded of that fact that she was a victim of Lawrence Taylor. But she is a very strong young woman. She knows what she wants to do. She wanted to give her victim impact statement when Lawrence Taylor was being sentenced. But Lawrence Taylor’s attorney jumped up and argued to the court that she shouldn’t be allowed to give it in court. Then the court refused to allow her to give it. Christina sat in court and tears were running down her face, because she wanted to speak out. It meant a lot to her. It’s what she wanted to do.

I know that there are people who think that women should suffer in silence and be ashamed if they are victims. I’m not one of them. I am there to empower women if they think it’s important to them to have a voice and speak out. Here is a young woman who had earned that right many times over. She was beaten. Her face was bloodied. Her face was bruised. Her eye was swollen.

At the time of the assault?

Yeah, the pimp did that to her, Rasheed Davis, who’s now serving seven years in prison as a result of trafficking her to Mr. Taylor. And she has a right to speak out about that. She wants to inspire other sex trafficking victims to come forward and not be afraid and not be ashamed. So I say more power to Cristina. Cristina is working as a cashier at Target. She is trying to finish her high school education. I am just so, so proud of her that she has chosen this path. I don’t agree with people who think they should make judgments for others and push women down. I’m there to help women rise up, if that’s what they would like to do.