Gloria Allred Talks Tiger Woods, Defends Media Tactics and 'Imperfect' Clients

Feminist lawyer Gloria Allred says Woods needs to be held accountable.

August 26, 2010, 2:31 PM

Aug. 26, 2010— -- Behind every great tabloid story stands a lover scorned, and in Tiger Woods's case, you could say multiple lovers scorned. But behind several of Tiger Woods's alleged ex-lovers, stands Gloria Allred.

"I think that Tiger Woods need to be accountable, and I hope I had some small role in making him accountable," Allred told "Nightline" in a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from her role in the scandal involving the famed golfer, to criticism that she is a "media whore" who has set back women's rights rather than promoted them.

Allred says she considers herself a modern day suffragette, and has represented thousands of women in her 35 years as a feminist lawyer at private firms in Los Angeles.

Allred represented Rachel Uchitel, who reportedly settled her claims with Woods for $10 million, and currently represents Joslyn James, a former porn star who is another of Woods's alleged mistresses.

"I fell head-over-heels, stupid, crazy love," James acknowledged. "I feel really stupid for doing that."

Allred has a long list of high-profile clients, many at the heart of today's voracious celebrity tabloid culture. She represented British actress Charlotte Lewis when she accused director Roman Polanski of raping her when she was16, and Amber Frey, the ex-girlfriend of Scott Peterson when he was accused of murdering his wife.

"There's a lawyer who represents a lot of celebrity men in this town, and I've said to him, 'you represent the Hollywood bad boys, and I represent the women they hurt,'" Allred said.

Allred is well known for her high-profile clients and even higher profile press conferences promoting their causes.

In response to critics, she says she believes in helping women who have been betrayed and wants to give them a voice.

"Women should not have to suffer in silence," Allred stated. Her near-celebrity status often generates a buzz, whether it's at a news conference behind a bank of microphones or in front of the cameras of the paparazzi. They know if they see Allred, she is probably handling a juicy case.

"[The paparazzi] don't camp out, but they're often alert," she said.

In actuality, many of Allred's cases don't reach the courtroom but are often settled confidentially out of court, away from TV cameras. She even claims that in some circles, she is better known for her silence than her outspokenness.

Gloria Allred on Facing the Critics

Not everyone agrees with Allred's brand of feminism, and she often comes under fire for taking on clients said to have questionable pasts and motives. Where she might see Joslyn Jones as a woman taken advantage of by a powerful athlete, others see a home-wrecker out to make a buck.

Allred says a woman's past shouldn't prevent her from having an advocate.

"I don't represent perfect people, nor am I a perfect person," she said. "I'm here to do the very best for [the victims] ... I don't necessarily represent nuns or angels, and neither am I one of them."

Then she added with a laugh, "Although I have to say I've received some very, very nice notes from some nuns I know ... who commended me on my activism for women."

Jodie Fisher, another of Allred's high-profile clients, described Allred as her "advocate." Fisher's explosive allegations of sexual harassment against Hewlett Packard CEO Mark Hurd resulted in his sudden resignation and a huge shareholder lawsuit.

"What I did with Gloria is I told her my situation, and she helped me," Fisher said. "That's probably about as much as I want to say about that."

Allred on Tiger Woods: 'I Hope He's Learned From This'

Championing gay rights seemed like a far cry from defending the alleged mistresses of Tiger Woods. Allred stated she is fighting for women one case at a time, and the mistresses are "only a small part of my practice," adding that she felt sorry for the golfer.

"I really don't take any joy in what happened to him. I frankly only care about the victim in the case," she said.

Nonetheless, Allred believes there has been some good that has come out of the Tiger Woods's situation.

"I think that secrets destroy people," she explained. "The secrets that Tiger Woods had about the life that he was living were very destructive to him, to his children, to his wife, and to people with whom he had a relationship, for example, Joslyn James."

Allred added that Woods is not completely off the hook yet, and that only his actions in the future will prove if he can change.

"I hope he's learned from this," she said. "But I guess we'll have to wait and see."

For more on Gloria Allred, visit Harper's Bizarre's website here.

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