EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Gloria Allred on Octo-Mom, Stars Who Get Away With Murder & What Makes Her Fight

Apr. 4 2009, Published 1:33 p.m. ET

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If you haven't seen Gloria Allred on television lately, you simply

haven't turned on your set. The famed civil rights attorney has brought

her unique brand of relentlessness to the headline-making Octo-Mom


For more than 30 years she has practiced law and is often

front and center at the nation's most high profile cases. sat down with Allred to get the story behind the

headlines and her candid answers to our questions give an in-depth look

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at one of this country's best-known advocates for the downtrodden.

Behind her outspoken approach is a stark sense of righting

perceived wrongs and a toughness forged from experience. She was raped

at gunpoint while on vacation in Acapulco in 1966, which she recalls in

her book, Fight Back and Win. When she returned to the U.S., she

discovered she was pregnant. Abortion wasn't legal. "I was forced to

undergo an illegal abortion," Gloria has said. "Afterward I began to

hemorrhage heavily. I was taken to the hospital to a special ward where

women dying from abortions were treated. I was packed with ice, and I

lived. Others in my situation did not."

Allred held nothing back in answering our questions, ranging

from celebrities who get away with murder to ongoing political battles.

Of course, we had to start with the Octo-Mom situation: Octo-Mom - what do you think is the best-case scenario

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for her?

Gloria Allred: There is none unless she decides to take an active and

meaningful role in parenting all of her children

RO: Do you think she'll have her kids taken away?

GA: Only if they are neglected or abused. At this point I do think they

would be better off in foster care where they can receive individualized

attention and care.

RO:  Do you think she's competent to raise these kids?

GA: If she continues to behave the way that she did when Angels in

Waiting was in her home, I am not optimistic about her

children's future. For the sake of her 14 children I hope that she gets

the help that she clearly needs and readjusts her priorities. She needs

to demonstrate through actions not just words that her children are more

important to her than shopping and money making schemes. Her children

need their mother not more toys and photo-ops.

RO: What is the No. 1 issue you are concerned with right now?

Gloria Allred
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GA: Our current case before the California Supreme Court challenging

Prop 8, a constitutional amendment which would deny gay and lesbian

couples the right to marry in California.

RO: What case are you most proud of?

GA: All of them. Currently our victory last year before the California

Supreme Court in which we won the right to marry for gay and lesbian


RO: Who are the people you admire the most?

GA:  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Susan B. Anthony, Senator

Barbara Mikulski, Sojourner Truth and Benazir Bhutto.

RO:  In general, do you think celebrities get a break from the justice

system or are treated unfairly?

GA:  There is definitely a double standard. Celebrities definitely have

an advantage in the legal system.

RO: We're going to name a celebrity and you write the first thing you

think of. O.J. Simpson...

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GA: Double killer. One day his children will know the truth about their


RO: Robert Blake

GA:  One lucky guy, one unlucky wife.

RO: Michael Jackson

GA: I would advise parents not to leave their children alone with him.

RO:  Who has had the biggest impact on your life?

GA:  My parents, my cousin Dr. Rachel Ash, my law partners Nathan

Goldberg and Michael Maroko.

RO:    What's the biggest regret of your career?

GA:    None.

RO:  Would you ever consider running for public office?

GA:  No.

RO: If you could have dinner with one person who would it be and why?

GA: President Obama. I would like to discuss specifics re how the system

needs to be changed so that women and minorities can truly be afforded

equal protection under the law and to suggest names for him to consider

for his future Supreme Court appointments, when vacancies exist on the

court. I would also ask him to vigorously advocate the passage of the

Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Postscript: Allred will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from the

Steinhardt College of New York University on May 11. The award will be

presented at the university's commencement at Radio City Music Hall.

She will be giving the commencement address.

(Photo:Splash News)



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