Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I was harassed by Gloria Allred

Call it sexual harassment or call it inappropriate behavior, never-the-less I was made to feel 'uncomfortable' by none other than attorney Gloria Allred!  Allred has a knack for being in the news by representing people connected to high profile news stories.  Yesterday she represented a woman accusing presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment.  The press event (no questions allowed) was held in Manhattan at The Friar's Club, a formerly all male club for comedians.  Allred liberated the Friars Club Beverly Hills and engaged in a little sexual hostility while doing so.

Sometime in the 90s Fortune Magazine assigned me to photograph Ms Allred Esq. at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco.  You see the Bohemian Club is an all male club and Allred was and is opposed to all male clubs.  Fortune wished to get to the bottom of the issue with assistance from a bottom feeder.

Allred agreed to fly up to San Francisco for the photo shoot.  I picked her up at the airport and drove to the Bohemian Club.  Arriving at the Bohemian Club my assistant and I began scoping out the exterior of the club for a suitable vantage point.  We correctly assumed the club wouldn't allow a photo on its premises.  Before we could begin shooting Allred stationed herself by the club entrance and began scolding members as they entered.  As you would imagine this was not a one way conversation. Intending this to be a portrait rather than a re-enactment of the free speech movement I struggled to regain control of the situation.  Having shots of Allred only from the backside would not be a career enhancer.  This proved difficult so we moved Allred to a new location across the street.

Upon finishing Allred was freed to return to shouting at men entering the Bohemian Club. Rejoining Allred near the entrance she prevailed up me to enter the club lobby.  There she requested an application for membership from the person at the reception desk.  The receptionist directed Allred to a small phone booth across the lobby.  Allred entered the booth and beckoned me to join her in the cramped enclosure.  I did but she insisted I come even closer and place my head next to hers.  Some would say this was to facilitate  hearing her request over the shared telephone receiver, but could there have been another reason--perhaps one that was unsavory?  Momentarily Allred's perfume altered my senses and I remain unable to recall much else.

Were these the innocent actions of a well-meaning socially active citizen, or perhaps worse?  I'm ill-equipped to make that judgement without proper legal counsel.  I wonder if Ms Allred would take my case?