The Whitman campaign sought on Wednesday to discredit Allred, calling into question the timing of the allegations and asserting that the high-profile lawyer had ties to Whitman's Democratic opponent, California Attorney General Jerry Brown. The evidence that the campaign provided included financial donations Allred made to Brown in 1982 and 2006 as well as information about Allred's ties to the Democratic Party.
Whitman spokeswoman Andrea Jones Rivera called Allred a shameful manipulator and said that the allegations she and her client leveled on Wednesday "serve as a warning to Californians that they are witnessing dirty political smears at their worst."
The new wrinkle in the governor's race came just hours after Whitman and Brown met for their first debate of the general election campaign on Tuesday night. The two candidates are in a virtual dead heat, according to a recent Field Poll. Whitman has spent roughly $120 million of her own fortune on the campaign.
This is also not the first time Whitman has faced allegations of mistreatment. In 2007 Whitman allegedly cursed at and shoved an eBay employee in a conference room at the company's headquarters. The New York Times reported in June that Whitman paid the employee, Young Mi Kim, a settlement worth about $200,000.
Allred said that she and her client plan to file a claim for the back wages and mileage that they claim were not reimbursed. At one point during Wednesday's news conference Diaz had to leave the room to compose herself.
"I'm doing this because I know there are a lot of Megs out there who are mistreating the Nickys who work so hard for them," Diaz said. "I hope that no one else in my position has to suffer the way that I did."