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“You Can’t Handle The Truth” My Conversation With Gloria Allred

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Gloria was my guest today, but she hung up. The audio and transcript below are self-explanatory. Every media account of her press conference tomorrow should mention that she couldn’t or wouldn’t state the law on air.

The audio of my conversation with Gloria Allred is here.

My column on the exchange is here.

The transcript begins below.

HH: Joined now by the biggest newsmaker of the day, Gloria Allred. Hello, Gloria, welcome.

GA: Hi, Hugh. How are you today?

HH: I’m great. You made a lot of news, and I want to get to that. First question, though. You did this to Arnold in August of 2003 for Rhonda Miller. Did Rhonda ever win a judgment against Arnold?

GA: Well, I don’t know what you mean ‘I did this’. What’s the ‘this’ that you’re referring to?

HH: Hold a press conference making allegations against a gubernatorial candidate.

GA: Yeah, I made allegations. Yes, that’s true.

HH: Did Rhonda win a judgment?

GA: Rhonda did not proceed with her case through litigation.

HH: Is that a no?

GA: Well, she decided not to go…the case was litigated, and the case basically ended up being dismissed. She decided not to appeal.

HH: Oh, it was dismissed?

GA: Wait a minute. She decided not to appeal from the dismissal, which she had every right to do. She decided that she would just go on with her life.

HH: So she never got…

GA: So therefore, there never was a trial, and there was never a decision on the merit.

HH: So the court threw out her case?

GA: Well, the court never heard testimony in the case, if that’s what you’re saying.

HH: I’m saying they threw out her case. You got a summary judgment against you.

GA: Well, there was a legal issue having to do with the First Amendment, and it’s a very technical legal issue.

HH: Okay, speaking of that…

GA: It has nothing at all to do with this issue. That, those were allegations of sexual harassment. The allegations of sexual harassment were never proven or disproven. The court, there was never a trial in the case.

HH: Right. I got it. I just wanted to check my facts.

GA: If you would like to proceed to talk about that, I can call you back and we can talk more about it.

HH: No, I want to get to the press conference you held today. I want to start by I asked Erwin Chemerinsky…

GA: Yes, and our press conference today, I might add, has literally nothing to do with sexual harassment.

HH: Right. Gloria Allred, Erwin Chemerinsky, great, big lawyer, you know him. I had him on earlier today, big lefty, and I asked him about your allegations today. Here’s what Erwin had to say.

HH: What would you do, Erwin, if someone you had employed either as the nanny or the housekeeper, or one of those situations, and they’d given you all the documents, and they show up after many years, and they’re now a beloved member of the household. They’re not family, but they’re part of the household. What would you do?

EC: Well, it’s obviously a wrenching situation. I think that if that were to happen, you can’t continue to employ the person lawfully. You could decide you’re going to do it illegally and take the political and legal heat if it happens, because you don’t want to lose this person from your household. But as with any act of civil disobedience, if you violate the law, you know there might be consequences. And the more public you are, the more likely those consequences will be to happen.

HH: Gloria, that’s the dean of the UCI Law School, a great liberal. Is he wrong?

GA: Well, I’m not sure what your question is.

HH: Has Erwin got the law wrong? Should…

GA: Well, I’m not here to comment on Erwin. I’m only here to talk about my client and what happened to her. Now if you don’t want to talk about…

HH: No, but Erwin commented that Meg Whitman had no choice but to…

GA: She was employed by Meg Whitman in her home as a housekeeper, and as sometimes, and part of that time, as a nanny as well for nine years, then we will talk about her.

HH: Look, Gloria, this isn’t the Sacramento Bee. You can’t filibuster me. Erwin just said she had to fire the housekeeper. Is Erwin wrong?

GA: Well, apparently you didn’t hear our news conference today about what she knew and when she knew it.

HH: I’ve just asked you is Erwin wrong.

GA: I’m not here to comment on Erwin.

HH: All right. Let me ask you then.

GA: This is not about whether she should have terminated the housekeeper or not terminated the housekeeper.

HH: Well, what should she have done?

GA: This is about her treatment of the housekeeper.

HH: I know that, but I’m asking what you would do if you had a housekeeper who had defrauded you and then came forward and said I’m not in the country legally, Gloria. Would you keep them? Would you keep employing them?

GA: This isn’t about what I would do. It’s about what Meg Whitman would, and did do.

HH: But I know, but my audience…

GA: …and what those facts are. And apparently, you want to talk about everything except the facts of what Meg Whitman did.

HH: No, I think this is what everyone would like to know, is what to do in that situation.

GA: Okay, well I’m not here to give you legal advice.

HH: What would you advise your clients?

GA: Okay, Hugh, I’m not, nor do I pretend to be, although maybe you feel that you are, an expert on immigration law. That’s not my area. I am, what we do, our main focus, is employment, plaintiffs employment cases. And you know, the Daily Journal, which is a legal newspaper, had selected us a few years ago as the number one plaintiffs employment law firm in Southern California. So I need to talk about the employment issues…

HH: Gloria, I gave you your plug. I just let you get the publicity that you crave, and that you die for, and for which reason you bring stunts like this every time a campaign comes up. But just for the benefit of the audience, is it wrong to fire someone who has defrauded you under the law? Do you have a choice? Because I don’t think you have a choice. I think you have to fire them.

GA: Okay, Hugh, you, just like Meg Whitman, you, just like the rich and the powerful person that you are defending, can only engage in personal attacks. And the reason is you cannot defend against the facts which we set forth in six pages at our statement at the news conference today. You cannot defend her conduct…

HH: Actually, I’m not trying to defend anything.

GA: …that we laid out. Instead…

HH: …I’m asking you as a lawyer who brought these allegations to just state the law.

GA: …I’m telling, no, I’m telling you…

HH: Can you state the law, Gloria?

GA: Now for example, let me just tell you this.

HH: I mean, just state the law, then I’ll give you the rest of the time.

GA: No, I’m not. I’m not. No, if you want to go state the law, you can feel free to contact an immigration lawyer to do that.

HH: So you don’t know if Meg Whitman did the right thing or not.

GA: Okay, well, I think if you review my six page statement, we’re telling you that we do not…

HH: Well, if you don’t know the law, how could you object to what she did?

GA: Apparently, you don’t even want to let me finish the sentence, so you clearly don’t want to hear the answer.

HH: No, I want you to finish a question.

GA: If anybody wants to just filibuster, it’s you, sir, because you’re not interested in the facts. You’re just interested in giving your opinion, and then trying to step on everything that I’m saying. That’s not a useful conversation.

HH: I’ll let you state the law as long as you want. Not the six page, I just want to know the law first. Did she have an option?

GA: No, no, no, because anybody who would want to know the law would want to know the facts first, to see how the law applies.

HH: No, absolutely not. I’ve been teaching law students for twenty years, and the first thing they need to know is the law, then the facts.

GA: Okay, well, you know, well, you know, I’ll tell you what. I’ve been practicing for thirty-five years, and all I can tell you is that the way we practice law is that we know, we find out what the facts are, and then we find out what the law is as it applies to those facts.

HH: Do you know what the law is right now regarding…

GA: I’m just telling you, I think you have the wrong person on the line.

HH: But Gloria, do you know the law?

GA: And I’m going to tell you we had an immigration attorney at our news conference. I’m sorry that you did not attend our news conference. Apparently, you don’t even have a recording of everything that was said, or you’d play that.

HH: But Gloria, do you know the law? Did you talk to your immigration lawyer?

GA: And I’m going to tell you this. Since you’re not interested in hearing the facts, I’m going to have to terminate this conversation, but I thank you so much for inviting me, and I wish you the very best…

HH: Gloria, please don’t hang up. The people have a right to know when you bring a stunt like this…

GA: I wish you the very best of luck, and since you only…

HH: The people have a right to know, when you try to sabotage the political process, you’ve got to stand up and take the heat, Gloria, or you should leave the kitchen.

GA: All right, you know something? I understand, I understand that you, you have no interest in helping housekeepers or the people who have no money. I do.

HH: I have an interest in the truth, Gloria. You can’t handle the truth. I’ve always wanted to say that.

GA: Well, you can’t handle letting me finish a sentence, because you’re afraid of the truth.

HH: Oh…

GA: Thank you, and goodbye.

HH: Gloria, please don’t go.



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