Lisa Bloom, along with her mother, Gloria Allred, are possibly the worst thing that could ever happen for victims of sexual harassment or assault.
Or parking tickets. Or anything, because they’re so unscrupulous and mercenary, that just having a victim’s name associated with theirs tends to conjure up the worst possible images.
Now, in fact, the latest revelation, regarding several accusers of President Trump, that point is savagely illustrated.
Lisa Bloom, the ambulance chasing hack that tends to poison everything she touches apparently set about to get compensation, either from donors or tabloid magazines, for women who either made accusations against President Trump during the run up to the 2016 election, or who were considering coming forth.
Yeah. That’s not bad, at all, right?
The Hill got an exclusive on the ugly details.
California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill.
The women’s accounts were chronicled in contemporaneous contractual documents, emails and text messages reviewed by The Hill, including an exchange of texts between one woman and Bloom that suggested political action committees supporting Hillary Clinton were contacted during the effort.
Let’s not forget that Bloom was the now-infamous Harvey Weinstein’s attorney, right up until it began to be financially untenable to claim to be a mighty warrior for the rights of women, but to continue defending and representing a man with a growing list of female victims of sexual intimidation and assault attached to his name.
Bloom isn’t denying she attempted to secure compensation for what proved to be a highly explosive story a year ago.
“Donors reached out to my firm directly to help some of the women I represented,” said Bloom, whose clients have also included accusers of Bill Cosby and Bill O’Reilly.
Bloom said her goal in securing money was not to pressure the women to come forward, but rather to help them relocate or arrange security if they felt unsafe during the waning days of a vitriolic election. She declined to identify any of the donors.
That actually makes a little sense. The run up to the election was extremely nasty, often violent, and things haven’t gotten much better.
That explanation, however, still doesn’t flush.
And while she noted she represented sexual harassment victims for free or at reduced rates, she also acknowledged a standard part of her contracts required women to pay her commissions as high as 33 percent if she sold their stories to media outlets.
“Our standard pro bono agreement for legal services provides that if a media entity offers to compensate a client for sharing his or her story we receive a percentage of those fees. This rarely happens. But, on occasion, a case generates media interest and sometimes (not always) a client may receive an appearance fee,” she said.
“As a private law firm we have significant payroll, rent, taxes, insurance and other expenses every week, so an arrangement where we might receive some compensation to defray our costs seems reasonable to us and is agreed to by our clients,” Bloom added.
Yeah. See, costs.
Bloom claims no contact with Hillary Clinton or her campaign ever happened, but wouldn’t really touch the notion of dealing with Super PACs that backed Clinton.
Among those who benefited financially from having Bloom in her corner was Lisa Harth, who filed a sexual harassment suit against Trump in 1997.
“I consider myself lucky to have had Lisa Bloom by my side after my old lawsuit resurfaced. She advised me with great competence and compassion,” Harth told The Hill.
Harth said she did not originally ask Bloom for money, even though her cosmetics business suffered from the notoriety of the campaign stories about her.
But later, Bloom arranged a small payment from the licensing of some photos to the news media, and then set up a GoFundMe.com account to raise money for Harth in October 2016. “Jill put herself out there, facing off with Donald Trump. Let’s show her some love,” the online fund-raising appeal set up by Bloom’s husband declared.
She didn’t get much (about $2,300).
Bloom next persuaded a donor to chip in what amounted to a bit less than $30,000, in order to pay off Harth’s mortgage on an apartment in Queens, New York City.
Harth insists, however, that none of the financial help she received takes away from what she swears went on between she and Trump.
“Nothing that you’ve said to me about my mortgage or the Go Fund Me that was created to help me out financially affects the facts or the veracity of my 1997 federal complaint against Donald J. Trump for sexual harassment and assault,” she told The Hill.
“Having to retell my experiences of Donald Trump’s harassment is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
And I can imagine it was, but getting Bloom involved, and now the talk of financial compensation has really muddied the waters for anybody else making a claim.
Another woman gave a statement to The Hill, under the condition of keeping her name anonymous.
She and Harth, friends, both claim that Bloom didn’t insist they make any statements that were not true.
Texts and emails, however, spelled out a clear dislike of Trump by Bloom.
In an email to the unnamed woman, Bloom said that her story was “further evidence of what a sick predator this man is,” referring to Trump.
Bloom also tried to get more women to come forward before the election, according to documents.
When Harth, for instance, informed Bloom she had just made a Facebook post urging other women to come forward about Trump in October 2016, the lawyer texted back:
“Wow Jill that would be amazing. 27 days until the election.”
After a woman claiming sexual assault at the age of 13 backed out of a pre-election presser, Bloom went after another friend of Harth’s who was claiming an unwelcome advance by Trump in the 90s, while doing beauty contests.
The two bantered back and forth over details of possible compensation.
“Give us a clear sense of what you need and we will see if it we can get it,” Bloom texted the woman a week before Election Day.
“I’m scared Lisa. I can’t relocate. I don’t like taking other people’s money,” the woman wrote to Bloom.
“Ok let’s not do this then,” Bloom responded. “We are just about out of time anyway.”
Yeah. That didn’t sit well with this particular woman.
The woman then texted back demanding to know why there was a deadline. “What does time have to do with this? Time to bury Trump??? You want my story to bury trump [sic] for what? Personal gain? See that ‘s why I have trust issues!!”
The woman told The Hill in an interview that Bloom initially approached her in early October through Harth. She said she considered coming forward with her account of an unsolicited advance by Trump solely to support her friend Harth, and not because she had any consternation with Trump, who ended the advance when she asked him to stop, she said.
The woman further said Bloom offered a $10,000 donation to her church, with several text messages backing up the account.
“Please keep the donation offer confidential except to your pastor,” Bloom wrote the woman on Oct. 14, 2016.
Here’s the kicker: This particular woman was a supporter of Trump’s, who still associated with lawyers and friends of his.
Bloom later tried to cover that up.
“When you have a chance I suggest you delete the August 2015 Facebook post about supporting Trump,” Bloom texted. “Otherwise the reporter will ask you how you could support him after what he did to you. Your call but it will make your life easier.”
The woman declined. “I hate to say it, but i [sic] still rather have trump [sic] in office than hillary [sic],” the woman texted back. Bloom answered, “Ok I respect that. Then don’t change anything.”
She later decided that they could use the fact that the woman was a supporter of Trump’s to an advantage.
Text messages show, however, that this woman’s price for coming forward grew.
By early November, the woman said, Bloom’s offers of money from donors had grown to $50,000 to be paid personally to her, and then even higher.
“Another donor has reached out to me offering relocation/security for any woman coming forward. I’m trying to reach him,” Bloom texted the woman on Nov. 3, 2016. Later she added, “Call me I have good news.”
The woman responded that she wasn’t impressed with the new offer of $100,000 given that she had a young daughter. “Hey after thinking about all this, I need more than $100,000.00. College money would be nice” for her daughter. “Plus relocation fees, as we discussed.”
Ok. This woman must have been a little crazy.
The figure jumped to $200,000, was supposed to be tax free, and would include relocation fees and a change of identity, for her protection.
Bloom doesn’t deny this part, and says that the woman requested as high as $2 million in the beginning.
The anonymous woman says she never intended to seek money, but that Bloom kept making compensation an issue, so she decided to try and see how high the figure would go, or who was behind the contributions.
She landed in the hospital shortly before the election, apparently driving Bloom crazy, as she tried to reach her through texts and phone calls (unsuccessfully).
Bloom even flew out to the East coast to try and connect with the woman, only to reach her the next day and have her decline to take part in putting Trump on blast.
“I am confused because you sent me so many nice texts Wednesday night after my other client wasted so much of my time and canceled the press conference,” Bloom texted on Nov. 5, 2016. “That meant a lot to me. Thursday you said you wanted to do this if you could be protected/relocated. I begged you not to jerk me around after what I had just gone through.”
A little later, she added another text. “You have treated me very poorly. I have treated you with great respect as much as humanly possible. I have not made a dime off your case and I have devoted a great deal of time. It doesn’t matter. I could have done so much for you. But you can’t stick to your word even when you swear you will.”
They met again when the woman was out of the hospital, 2 days before the election. At that meeting, Bloom increased the offer of compensation to $750,000, but she still declined to go through with it.
The woman later apologized to Bloom for letting her down and Bloom accepted.
Bloom told The Hill that none of the offers of compensation were meant to entice anyone to go public against Trump.
“Nothing can be further from the truth. Some clients asked for small photo licensing fees while others wanted more to protect their security,” she said.
It really kinda sounds like she was using money to entice them, but less as if the women were coming forward because of money.
Bloom won’t say who was offering the money. In a text with the woman who ultimately declined to come forward, she told her that the Clinton Super PACs had already said they wouldn’t pay.
She did, however, find media outlets willing to pay, and she made clear that she would have to pay her firm a commission.
“Outlets with which I have good relationships that may pay for your first on camera interview, revealing your name and face: Inside Edition, Dr. Phil, LawNewz.com,” Bloom texted the woman just weeks before Election Day. “My best estimate of what I could get for you would be $10-15,000 (less our 1/3 attorney fee).”
“If you are interested I would recommend Inside Edition or Dr. Phil as they are much bigger. Dr. Phil is doing a show on Trump accusers next Tuesday in LA and would fly you here and put you up in a nice hotel, and pay for your meals as well, with your daughter if you like,” Bloom’s text added. “Media moves very quickly so you need to decide and then once confirmed, you need to stick to it.”
Representatives of “Inside Edition” and “Dr. Phil” said they did not pay any Trump accusers for appearances last year.
Bloom sent the women contracts regarding media-related fees and business terms for selling their story.
“You will compensate the Firm thirty-three percent (33%) of the total fee that you collect, whether the media deal or licensing fees is for print, Internet, radio, television, film or any other medium,” Bloom’s proposed contract, dated Oct. 10, 2016, read. The woman said she signed the contract.
When Bloom found out in early November that the woman and the friend had discussions with CBS News about doing an interview on their own, the lawyer texted back: “CBS does not pay for stories.”
She also warned that working outside of their contract could come back to bite them, later.
It’s a lot to take in, and as I said before, the association with Bloom absolutely corrupts the perception, if not the facts of any potential claims of abuse or harassment they may have.
This story is already causing Trump loyalists to salivate, and now every accuser will be branded liars.