From nipple rings to Borat’s etiquette coach: Gloria Allred’s greatest hits

David Martosko Executive Editor
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On Monday afternoon the victim-rights lawyer Gloria Allred took the stage with a fourth woman named Sharon Bialek alleging that pizza mogul Herman Cain sexually harassed her ten years ago while he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association. She is reportedly the first such woman to publicly come forward.

Allred’s long and impressive career has included representation of Scary Spice and various alleged Tiger Woods mistresses, and attacking the late Michael Jackson for child endangerment. Given the import of the moment, this seems like the right time for a roundup of some of her more important victories rooting out injustice in cases where most people didn’t even know it was there.

In 1995, Allred sued on behalf of a girl who was not permitted to join her brother’s Boy Scout troop because — well, because she was a girl, and it was the Boy Scouts.

In 1985, Allred sued the Yellow Balloon, a children’s hair salon in Los Angeles, for charging more for a girl’s haircut than for a boy’s haircut. Even though girls generally have more hair than boys, and generally want a cut that’s a little bit more complicated than just taking an electric razor to their head, in this particular case the girl’s hair was easier to cut than the boy’s. So Yellow Balloon changed it’s policies, and Allred struck a blow (dry) for gender equality.

Allred defended The Bold and the Beautiful actress Hunter Tylo after Aaron Spelling fired her from the role of sexy vixen Taylor McBride in Melrose Place. Tylo was let go after she told the producer she was pregnant. Lisa Rinna, the actress who ended up with the role, testified that her character spent most of her time walking around in a bikini or lingerie seducing men, which Spelling said Tylo could not do with a rapidly growing baby bump. Tylo said she “felt that I had been called a big, ugly, fat person who didn’t deserve the chance to prove myself.”

When Atlanta Braves pitching coach Robert McDowell made profane remarks and simulated a sex act with a baseball bat in response to heckling from Giants fans, Justin Quinn filed a police report, angered that McDowell had behaved in that way in front of his daughters. Allred, appearing with Quinn, proceeded to repeat the offensive language and imitate the crude actions with a baseball bat … in front of Quinn’s daughters. Don’t worry, there’s video.

In 2006 the humorless Allred represented Cindy Streit, an “etiquette expert” whom Sacha Baron Cohen not-so-politely embarrassed in his Borat film. In Streit’s scene, Borat — Baron Cohen’s character, a journalist from Kazakhstan — presents her with a bag supposedly filled with his own excrement, invites a hooker to join a dinner party, and generally behaves like a boor. Allred claimed her client had only given permission to be filmed for a Belarus Television documentary.

In what has to have been one of the more amusing cases ever tried, Allred once defended a woman whom the TSA forced to remove her nipple rings in the airport. One needed to be removed with pliers.

David is The Daily Caller’s executive editor. Follow him on Twitter