The career of Lisa Bloom: How Gloria Allred's daughter ended up defending Harvey Weinstein and came to regret it

Attorney Lisa BloomAttorney Lisa BloomMatt Slocum / AP
  • High profile attorney Lisa Bloom has made a career out of representing women against powerful men.
  • She's the daughter of Gloria Allred, another famous lawyer who has fought for decades for women's rights, including representing Nicole Simpson in the O.J. Simpson trial, and Norma McCorvey from the abortion rights case, Roe v. Wade.
  • Like Allred, Bloom uses the media to get results. She's successfully sued Bill Cosby's estate, helped force Bill O'Reilly from Fox News, and won cases for celebrities like Mischa Barton. 
  • But the public's perception of Bloom disintegrated in 2017 when media mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Bloom was one of his legal advisors. 
  • She faced a backlash for choosing to work for a powerful man against women. 
  • In 2019, the issue resurfaced when New York Times' reporters published a book called "She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement." In it, is a memo from Bloom offering a smear campaign against Rose McGowan, one of his accusers. 
  • Here's everything you need to know about her controversial career. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Lisa Bloom has made a career out of representing the underdog. She hosts well-planned press conferences, so women can tell their stories about being wronged by powerful men. She harnesses the media to get results when the courtroom isn't enough.

She's the daughter of famous women right's lawyer Gloria Allred. According to Politico, "The names Allred and Bloom are synonymous with aggressive legal strategy on behalf of wronged women, and relentless public-relations campaigns against rich and influential men."

But in 2017 the world found out she was working for alleged sexual assaulter Harvey Weinstein. Bloom went from being called "a defender of women" on the cover of a magazine, to having her mother release a statement saying she would work with any Weinstein accusers, even if that meant taking on Bloom in court. 

Before the backlash, Bloom had represented the women who accused actor Bill Cosby and Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment and abuse. She tried to represent a woman who wanted to press charges against President Donald Trump, but it never eventuated. After the backlash, she's still working, most notably for sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein's accusers. 

Here's her career to date. 

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Lisa Bloom was born on September 20, 1961.

Lisa Bloom was born on September 20, 1961.

She told the New Yorker she was born a feminist and became radicalized later.

After high school, Bloom went to UCLA where she first realized she wanted to be a lawyer.

After high school, Bloom went to UCLA where she first realized she wanted to be a lawyer.

The realization set in when her UCLA debate team won the national championship, and she won best speaker in the US.

She said it made sense, because she was passionate about women's rights, civil rights, racial discrimination, and LGBT rights. Her mother had also been telling her to give law school a go. After UCLA she went to Yale Law School and graduated in 1986.

In 1991, Bloom began working for her mother's law firm Allred, Maroko and Goldberg.

In 1991, Bloom began working for her mother's law firm Allred, Maroko and Goldberg.

In 1997, Bloom and her mother Allred tried to sue the Boy Scouts of America for not allowing Katrina Yeaw to join, since she was a girl. The case was dismissed as the BSA wasn't a business, which meant it could control who is allowed to be members.

While working for Allred's law firm, she also worked on a case against the Roman Catholic Church about child sex abuse, and she sued the LAPD. Bloom continued to work at her mother's firm until 2001.

Gloria Allred showed her daughter what the law could do.

Gloria Allred showed her daughter what the law could do.

Allred had worked on high profile cases including representing Nicole Simpson's family during the O.J. Simpson trial, representing Norma McCorvey from Roe v. Wade, as well as suing Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, and Roman Polanski.

Bloom told the San Fernando Valley Business Journal her mother showed her how important it was to push the law forward for women. She'd be honored if people compared her to her mother.

Allfred taught Bloom some of her most important tactics, including getting clients to host press conferences.

Allfred taught Bloom some of her most important tactics, including getting clients to host press conferences.

According to the Los Angeles Times, it's a signature move that she learned from her mother. But they have their differences. While Allred likes to sit at a long table, on a phone directory for extra height, Bloom prefers to stand, and she likes to use visual aids.

In 2017, she said she had to be creative in her work. She couldn't rely on the courtroom alone. "We use the media, for example, to publicly shame people. That really tends to level the playing field."

From 2001, she hosted a daily show on Court TV.

From 2001, she hosted a daily show on Court TV.

Bloom's career took off during and after O.J. Simpson's heavily reported trial, and she harnessed the growing attention for real-life crime cases, often appearing as an expert on network news shows like CNN and MSNBC.

She said her time as a host was a lot of fun working on air for two hours a day, five days a week, and it helped teach her to break down legal jargon into words that were understandable for people who weren't lawyers. She would continue to do this as an attorney.

In 2010, after opening her own law firm, Bloom Firm, she represented Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan's father, as he tried to stop his daughter from going to jail.

In 2010, after opening her own law firm, Bloom Firm, she represented Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan's father, as he tried to stop his daughter from going to jail.

Bloom and Michael Lohan wrote a letter asking the court to send Lindsay Lohan to rehab rather than to jail.

In 2015, she began representing model Janice Dickinson, who sued Bill Cosby for defamation after his lawyer dismissed her claims that she'd been drugged and raped by Cosby.

In 2015, she began representing model Janice Dickinson, who sued Bill Cosby for defamation after his lawyer dismissed her claims that she'd been drugged and raped by Cosby.

Cosby's lawyer Marty Singer said the version of events Dickinson's recounted on Entertainment Tonight were "fabricated and an outrageous defamatory lie."

In July, the suit was settled.

In November 2016, Bloom was representing a woman who accused President Trump of sexual assault. But on the day of the press conference, she showed up alone.

In November 2016, Bloom was representing a woman who accused President Trump of sexual assault. But on the day of the press conference, she showed up alone.

The woman she was representing, who was never named alleged Trump raped her in 1994, when she was 13 years old. The press conference was meant to build momentum for the case, but the woman canceled it after she said her life was threatened.

In March 2017, Weinstein optioned the rights for Bloom's book, titled "Suspicion Nation."

In March 2017, Weinstein optioned the rights for Bloom's book, titled "Suspicion Nation."

Bloom's book was about Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American boy who was shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. Weinstein had plans to create a miniseries based on the book, featuring both Bloom and Jay-Z.

Bloom said she was excited, and wanted to make more people aware of racism in the legal system.

In April 2017, Bloom convinced television presenter Wendy Walsh to talk to the media about Bill O'Reilly becoming hostile towards her after she turned down his advances.

In April 2017, Bloom convinced television presenter Wendy Walsh to talk to the media about Bill O'Reilly becoming hostile towards her after she turned down his advances.

Walsh had also been offered a contributors role that disappeared when things between them soured. Walsh was one of three women Bloom represented who accused Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment.

She hosted a media conference to shame O'Reilly, since Walsh could not sue, because too much time had passed. After telling her story, Bloom got Walsh to call Fox's sexual harassment hotline, to force an investigation.

Later that month O'Reilly walked away from Fox News.

Later that month O'Reilly walked away from Fox News.

The New York Times first reported five women had accused O'Reilly of sexual harassment and had been paid about $13 million to remain quiet, but it was in part due to Bloom's strategy that O'Reilly was forced to leave.

She posted a video online of Walsh phoning in to complain about the harassment and did the same again when another accuser came forward. Fox News, embarrassed, let O'Reilly go.

Bloom was angry that Fox news had protected O'Reilly for as long as it did.

"That is just unacceptable that all of these women are driven out and all of the men get to keep their jobs, or if they leave they get these huge payouts," she told The Ringer.

In June 2017, Bloom hosted a press conference with well-known comedian Kathy Griffin.

In June 2017, Bloom hosted a press conference with well-known comedian Kathy Griffin.

The conference was meant to take the heat off Griffin who had been receiving threats and abused online, due to her posting a photo depicting President Trump with his head cut off. In the press conference, Bloom said the Trump family were bullying Griffin. But the conference failed to change the narrative around Griffin, and it was ridiculed in the media.

In June 2017, Bloom helped The O.C. star Mischa Barton in a revenge sex case.

In June 2017, Bloom helped The O.C. star Mischa Barton in a revenge sex case.

Bloom reached a settlement with Barton's former boyfriend Adam Spaw, which set out he would never release images he had of Barton, and he would keep away from her forever.

In July 2017, Bloom represented Blac Chyna against her former fiancé Rob Kardashian.

In July 2017, Bloom represented Blac Chyna against her former fiancé Rob Kardashian.

Chyna alleged that members of the Kardashian family had interfered with her E! series "Rob and Chyna," and she was suing for damages. Rob also posted "revenge porn" after the split, which Bloom also represented her for.

In 2017, she said in an interview about the case that the victories were helping women grow stronger.

"I've had clients who've had tiny little girl voices and then by the end of their case, they're speaking like an adult woman and they stand taller," she said. "It's a great feeling to go through an experience of standing up for yourself and prevailing and I think you really grow from that experience."

In 2019, she dropped Chyna as a client and said she hadn't been paid by her. The case is still ongoing.

In July 2017, a cover story for W magazine had mother and daughter standing side by side beneath a headline calling them, "the defenders of women."

In July 2017, a cover story for W magazine had mother and daughter standing side by side beneath a headline calling them, "the defenders of women."

Source: W Magazine

In August 2017, Bloom represented Quantasia Sharpton, and two anonymous women, who alleged Usher had exposed them to herpes without telling them he had the condition.

In August 2017, Bloom represented Quantasia Sharpton, and two anonymous women, who alleged Usher had exposed them to herpes without telling them he had the condition.

In an interview with Billboard about the case, she said, "I'm generally on the side of the underdog against a powerful person or company. That's what I've been doing for 31 years." She had she was seeking justice and accountability.

On October 5, 2017, things began to fall apart for Bloom, as the New York Times published its first story on allegations of sexual misconduct against media mogul Harvey Weinstein.

On October 5, 2017, things began to fall apart for Bloom, as the New York Times published its first story on allegations of sexual misconduct against media mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The story quoted Bloom, said she'd been working for the mogul for a year, and was helping him understand "gender and power dynamics." She's quoted saying Weinstein was "an old dinosaur learning new ways."

Two days later, on October 7, facing public pressure, Bloom said she would no longer represent Weinstein.

Two days later, on October 7, facing public pressure, Bloom said she would no longer represent Weinstein.

She said it had been a "colossal mistake" to represent him and she regretted it. But she didn't go into it blind.

She told The Ringer, "I thought this was an opportunity to change the narrative. I thought that this was an opportunity to work with somebody on the other side and try to get them to behave better. I don't usually have opportunities like that, and I got tired of the old playbook. I thought that we would do something different, and it would be an improvement. But obviously it was not well received."

To add to the injury, Gloria Allred, Bloom's mother, released a statement to Time about what she thought of Bloom working for Weinstein.

To add to the injury, Gloria Allred, Bloom's mother, released a statement to Time about what she thought of Bloom working for Weinstein.

The statement said, she loved Lisa and respected her, and she made her own decisions, which she had no role in.

She also said, "Had I been asked by Mr. Weinstein to represent him, I would have declined, because I do not represent individuals accused of sex harassment. I only represent those who allege that they are victims of sexual harassment. While I would not represent Mr. Weinstein, I would consider representing anyone who accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment, even if it meant that my daughter was the opposing counsel."

The pressure did not ease for Bloom who also represented Roy Price, a studio executive at Amazon accused of sexual harassment. Five days after dropping Weinstein, she dropped Price.

The pressure did not ease for Bloom who also represented Roy Price, a studio executive at Amazon  accused of sexual harassment. Five days after dropping Weinstein, she dropped Price.

Price was accused of sexually harassing Isa Hackett, the daughter of novelist Philip K. Dick. Deadline reported that by October 12, Bloom was also no longer representing Price.

On October 22, Kathy Griffin took to social media to condemn working with Bloom.

On October 22, Kathy Griffin took to social media to condemn working with Bloom.

Griffin called Bloom a "fame whore," and said she'd gotten "Bloomed." On a Facebook video, she said, "I'm not gonna sue Lisa Bloom. I don't think Lisa Bloom should be shot, like people wish me, but there's my f---ing statement."

In a follow-up interview with The Daily Beast, Griffin said Bloom's two days of representation cost her $40,000.

In a public response, Bloom said the interview had gone so badly because Griffin had not followed the notes when she spoke to the media.

Despite a rough year, Bloom continued to defend women against famous men.

Despite a rough year, Bloom continued to defend women against famous men.

In March 2018, Bloom hosted a press conference with Faviola Dadis, who accused actor Steven Seagal of sexual assault in 2002.

In December 2018, the case was dropped due to too much time having passed since the alleged incident.

In April 2018, casino mogul Steve Wynn sued Bloom for defamation.

In April 2018, casino mogul Steve Wynn sued Bloom for defamation.

Bloom was representing a Las Vegas dancer who had accused Wynn of sexual misconduct and said he leered at performers.

Bloom responded saying she would beat him in court. In January 2019, she said, "I can't wait to win my Steve Wynn case, which I will do, after I tell my compelling, fact-based, corroborated story at the deposition."

In June 2019, a profile on Bloom showed that despite all of the controversies, she's still thinking strategically.

In June 2019, a profile on Bloom showed that despite all of the controversies, she's still thinking strategically.

When asked by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal about what advice she had to a company accused of sexual harassment, Bloom said, "The hard thing for a company is when it's somebody who is really integral to the company. Someone who brings in a lot of money, somebody who is the chief executive. I would advise businesses, think about how this is going to play out in front of a jury of 12 employees. Think about how all of your little technical arguments are not going to fly. Do the right thing."

In August 2019, Bloom said she would file civil claims on behalf of two accusers against convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein after he killed himself.

In August 2019, Bloom said she would file civil claims on behalf of two accusers against convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein after he killed himself.

Bloom told Reuters she'd held off suing Epstein when federal prosecutors were still looking into sex trafficking charges against him.

After Epstein killed himself, Bloom told The Guardian her mission was to get justice for the women even though Epstein could no longer be held accountable.

On September 8, 2019, seemingly out of nowhere, Bloom tweeted a reminder of her 2017 apology about Weinstein.

On September 8, 2019, seemingly out of nowhere, Bloom tweeted a reminder of her 2017 apology about Weinstein.

While painful, I learn so much more from my mistakes than my successes.

To those who missed my 2017 apology, and especially to the women: I am sorry.

Here are the changes I've made to ensure that I will not make that mistake again. pic.twitter.com/FSSl3qrFjQ

— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) September 8, 2019

Two days later, New York Time reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a book called "She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement."

Two days later, New York Time reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published a book called "She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement."

Inside, was a memo from Bloom telling Weinstein how she would be an asset for his legal team. It also showed her hourly rate of $895.

In the memo, she said, "I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world, because I have represented so many of them," Bloom wrote. "They start out as impressive, bold women, but the more one presses for evidence, the weaknesses and lies are revealed."

She advised Weinstein on a campaign to discredit Rose McGowan, by making it look like she was a pathological liar. And she visited the New York Times' offices with him to explain to journalists why Ashley Judd another accuser was not mentally stable.

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