Before representing five of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, the lawyer advised the producer on how to discredit his accusers. Does she have any regrets?
The night before I meet Lisa Bloom, the BBC screens its interview with Virginia Giuffre, the woman who has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her after she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein. It is a bombshell of an interview, with Giuffre giving a detailed account of her alleged encounters with the prince. It is also classic Bloom territory: for the past decade, the American lawyer’s name has been synonymous with high-profile cases in which a woman accuses a powerful man of sexual misconduct, often played out in the glare of camera lights. With her signature mix of legal aggression and media friendliness, Bloom has represented women against both Bill Cosby and Fox News host Bill O’Reilly – and won. In the O’Reilly case, she forced the Fox network to engage by filming her client calling the company’s sexual harassment hotline, and posting the video on Twitter. More accusers came forward, advertisers fled, and O’Reilly was done. Bloom handles publicity the way a samurai wields a sword.
Bloom is not representing Giuffre. But she is representing five other women who claim Epstein abused them, as well as two others who say they remember seeing Giuffre with Prince Andrew at the London nightclub Tramp in 2001, on the night at the centre of the allegations. (The prince has insisted this encounter was “impossible”, his unforgettable alibi being that he was at Pizza Express in Woking at the time. He has also denied having sex with Giuffre.)
Read more: theguardian.com