Lisa Bloom was interviewed on “The View” on Friday about defending Harvey Weinstein. The attorney explained why she initially represented him at the start of the sexual harassment scandal, but resigned as sexual assault allegations grew. Check out the video below.
Bloom signed on to Weinstein’s legal team months before the New York Times and the New Yorker published bombshell stories about his alleged behavior. After the first claims came out last month, the lawyer, who typically advocates for victims of sexual crimes, said she was working with Weinstein so he could learn how to take responsibility for his misconduct. Bloom was hit with a strong backlash, even from her own mother Gloria Allred, for seemingly siding with a predator over the harassed and abused women. She ultimately quit, and now she appeared live on the ABC talk show to discuss the situation.
The interview began with Sunny Hostin noting that they’re friends and Bloom has spent her career “championing women’s rights,” but she was “surprised” when Bloom decided to represent Weinstein. Asked why she did, she “prefaced” her answer by saying that due to attorney-client confidentiality laws, she could not say certain things, even though they were no longer working together. That said, she told the co-hosts, “When I was representing him as an adviser, the allegations were about words. It was verbal conduct. That was the initial New York Times story. And as he said in his public statement and I said in mine, my job was to educate him about sexual harassment laws, about the power imbalance, about what is appropriate and not appropriate in the work place, including his tone.”
Bloom said she’s “been on the outside for 31 years throwing stones” at harassers, and many times she’s wanted to “get in the room with this guy and straighten him out.” So with Weinstein, she thought, “‘Wow, I actually have the opportunity now to do that. I was invited to do that.’ And what I wanted him to do was change the response, that when the story came out, apologize for what you did, acknowledge the wrongdoing, don’t go after the women. And that is what he did. I did accomplish that… But right after that, the allegations got a lot more serious.”
Joy Behar asked Bloom about those who felt it was a conflict of interest for her to represent Weinstein because she also had a deal with The Weinstein Company to adapt the book she wrote on Trayvon Martin. She insisted it was “not a conflict legally” or “ethically,” but acknowledged, “What people have been telling me is, ‘Lisa, were you so excited about the [project] that it clouded your judgment?’ and I say, ‘Yeah. I think so.’ I have to cop to that.” But Bloom said she could not explicitly answer about why she resigned, due to the aforementioned confidentiality laws.
Still, she stated, “I very much regret ever being involved in this. I’m mortified I was connected with him in any way. And all of the people that have reached out to me to say, ‘Lisa, you know, we’re hurt, we’re disappointed in you,’ I get it, and I’m very, very sorry. I am.” Hostin, however, put her “lawyer hat” on and brought up a leaked email in which Bloom told a prankster pretending to be Weinstein that she did not know about the “far more serious allegations” of “sexual assault.” All she would say now was, “When the sexual assault allegations came out, it was absolutely devastating to read those stories… I was just shocked, I think like we all were.”
Behar, though, questioned why Bloom was surprised, saying, “If a guy is a harasser, what’s the next step? It’s sort of logical in a way.” She replied, “I do hear what you’re saying… But sexual assault is a whole ‘nother thing. Sexual assault is criminal. I’ve never represented somebody accused of sexual assault and I never will. And one of the lessons for this [for] me is that, I talked to everybody in my law firm, we are no longer ever going to represent somebody accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault. They’re entitled to lawyers, but it’s not gonna be us.”
Bloom was next pushed on claims that she was involved in tracking and making files on Weinstein’s accusers. She insisted that she couldn’t talk about some of that, but pointed out she was not one of the attorneys named in a recent New Yorker story about shady involvement with the victims. “I never reached out to any of the women,” she said. Behar asked point-blank, “Were you digging up dirt on Rose McGowan?” The lawyer replied, “I was not. I don’t think I can say anything further. I was an advisor on these issues.”
Meghan McCain asked about Bloom’s mother, Allred, publicly condemning her involvement in the case. “That was very hurtful,” she admitted. “I would’ve preferred a phone call, but listen, my mom’s a great fighter of women’s rights…. She’s a role model for me… I think we’re gonna work this out. Two strong women. We’re not the first mother-daughter to ever have an issue.” Bloom also revealed, though, “I’ve always gotten a lot of hate because I’ve always done a lot of controversial cases, but this round has been overwhelming and devastating and the death threats and the rape threats, constantly, and how they’re gonna kill me and how they’re gonna rape me, and the blogs with all the lies I can’t respond to because of the confidentiality.”
She confessed that, as a result, she was in a “free-fall” a few weeks ago, but saved by the support of her husband and family. She told the audience, “If you know anyone who’s in the middle of a hate storm, just give them as much love as you can.” After a commercial break, Bloom announced she’s “excited” to now be representing the man Bill O’Reilly recently sued over a Facebook post about a sexual assault allegation. She also gave suggestions on the changes that need to be made to help victims, now that this issue is getting the spotlight. “Let’s harness the energy now. It’s such an exciting time,” she said.
As the interview wound down, Sara Haines asked Bloom about former client Kathy Griffin’s allegation that she gave the comedienne’s phone number to TMZ’s Harvey Levin. “Of course, I never gave out any client’s phone number,” she insisted. “I’m in good company. Kathy has gone after a lot of people recently — Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Harvey Levin. I think she’s one of our funniest comics. I wish her the best. I have a perfect bar rating after 31 years of practicing law… Most of my clients are very, very happy.”
As Gossip Cop reported at the time, Bloom previously appeared on “The View” in July to discuss revenge porn with client Mischa Barton. Watch the new videos below.