A rare, inside look at the personal life of Gloria Allred

The Netflix documentary "Seeing Allred" takes viewers into the private and public sides of the famed attorney.
7:52 | 02/13/18

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for A rare, inside look at the personal life of Gloria Allred
Reporter: Her signature press conferences. Thank you for coming today. I'm attorney Gloria Allred. I'm attorney Gloria Allred. Gloria Allred. Groria Allred. Reporter: Sending shutters down the spine of the very rich, very powerful men her clients are taking on. Helping to usher in the me too movement. Roman Polanski. Donald Trump. Harvey Weinstein. It appears that Bill Cosby thinks he is far from finished. But he should know that we are also far from finished with him. You were voted most persistent in high school. I was. Reporter: Persistent is perhaps the perfect word to describe firebrand attorney Gloria Allred. Women depend on me to be strong. Reporter: Her lifelong feminism now the subject of a highly touted new Netflix documentary, "Seeing Allred." You say early in the movie there's a war on women. There is a war on women. And it has real-life consequences. Reporter: A lot of your critics say oh, she's so theatrical, she's looking for the spotlight. I do believe that women must have a voice in the court of public opinion. So I make no apologies about that whatsoever. Reporter: She says she resorts to public shaming because for many of her clients, including dozens of Bill Cosby accusers the statute of limitations means they've missed their day in court. At first I was not going to get involved because I thought it's too late for me to file a legal claim. But then as I listened to the women I understood they wanted to have a voice and they wanted to speak out. So ultimately I said okay, I'll do it. Justice is long overdue for these brave women. And they will be silent no more. Reporter: But what you may not know is fighting for equal rights for all has been a four-decade crusade for Allred. She's trying to turn women into men! I think secretly you envy women and you fear them. Reporter: And yet it's her painful life experiences that became a blueprint for her legal career. Her struggles as a single mom. Not paying your child support. Reporter: Her story of being raped at gunpoint in her 20s while on vacation. In the "Me too" movement is this idea that women either don't report or delay reporting a sexual assault? I didn't report. I didn't know why anybody would believe me over what was sure to be his denial. Reporter: Allred says the rape resulted in an unwanted pregnancy. I was one of millions of women who was faced with the unfortunate choice of having an illegal, unsafe abortion. And this is before roe V. Wade, which meant that women like me had to go to back alley butchers, so to speak, who were not licensed. Reporter: Soon after she says she began suffering from massive complications. I was admitted to the hospital with a 106 fever. I had to be packed in ice. I was bleeding. And a nurse came and said, this will teach you a lesson. The lesson that it taught me ultimately was this must never happen again to anyone's daughter or mother or sister. Instead of being stuck in the pain caused by the injustice inflicted on you, take that rage and use it as a source of energy to propel you forward to constructive change. Reporter: Allred has been a vocal critic of sexism. It's "The Dinah show"! Reporter: Way back in the '70s on "The Dinah shore show," she was cast as a radical. I'm an attorney in los Angeles. There's a list of what one husband would want from his life. Have a meal prepared within an hour and 6, be tired in a negligee. How would you feel if your husband presented you with a list like that? Well, Dinah, I think we have a uterus and a brain and they both work. And I think it's very insulting to women. I think you ought to be definite about this. Don't just tiptoe around it. Reporter: She's provided a steady drumbeat, challenging a culture where many laughed at sexual harassment. We don't think that our daughters should have to trade sexual favors in order to get a raise. Why not? We did. How do you think we get on this show? I want to see you in my dressing room after the show. Reporter: More recently she represents an ongoing case against president trump. Today I filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump for defamati defamation. Reporter: President trump claims his remarks were protected political speech and not defamatory. Allred also represents 33 of the more than 50 women who've accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Cosby has denied all allegations against him. This is unprecedented. For so many women who allege that they are victims of one rich powerful famous man to have spoken out. In the 40 years of law practice that I've been engaged in, I've never seen anything like this. Reporter: But she's been slammed throughout her career by those who call her attention-seeking for having tabloid-friendly clients. Like the porn star who claimed to be Tiger Woods's mistress. With me is my client, Jocelyn James, also known as Veronica swift Daniels. Reporter: So amber Frye, the ex-lover of Scott Peterson, who at the time was on trial for killing his pregnant wife, Lacey. I am grateful that Gloria Allred has agreed to represent me as my attorney. How do you choose clients? Very carefully. I was going to say, because there are those clients that are slightly more tawdry, more sort of tablid friendly, who on some level if you put them on the same moral plain as like a bill Cosby accuser that that sort of diminishes the cause. I'm not sheer to judge women. I'm here to support women. I think there's more than enough judging of women going on and not enough justice for them. You were an early advocate for gay rights, marriage equality, transgender rights. Gloria, I see you drive by here year after year. Reporter: I was doing gay and lesbian rights, late '70s, early '80s. One of my first public cases was two women, lesbian life partners, and were denied the right to dine in the section for romantic dining. That was only for opposite sex couples. We litigated that lawsuit. Ultimately, we won. Reporrer: The fight for victims' rights runs deep in Allred's family. Her granddaughter Sarah is an attorney. As is Gloria's daughter, Lisa bloom. But bloom, also seen as a champion of women's rights, has recently come under fire. Women's rights lawyer Lisa bloom taking some heat this morning. Lisa bloom resigning. She is stepping down. Reporter: Representing Harvey Weinstein against a multitude of accusations. Ranging from sexual misconduct to rape. Did you advise her against it? My daughter has a separate law firm, and she makes her own decisions about who her clients are going to be. I'm not here to second-guess her in any way. Reporter: Bloom has since resigned as Weinstein's attorney in the midst of the controversy. She later told buzzfeed news that she realized she'd made a colossal mistake in representing Weinstein. And you haven't given her any advice following it either? I don't, no. Reporter: Now 76 years old, retirement for Allred is nowhere in sight. What fuels you? What makes you work that hard. The Gandhi quote you that must be the change you wish to see in the world. So I need to live that change, and I do feel I have a duty to help others, to pass it on. And we must pass it on.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":53038506,"title":"A rare, inside look at the personal life of Gloria Allred","duration":"7:52","description":"The Netflix documentary \"Seeing Allred\" takes viewers into the private and public sides of the famed attorney.","url":"/Nightline/video/rare-inside-personal-life-gloria-allred-53038506","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}