Cain Scandal: Enter Gloria Allred, Stage Left

Gloria Allred==9th Annual Bag Ladies Luncheon==The Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, CA==November 4, 2011==?Patrick McMullan==Photo - ANDREAS BRANCH/
Gloria Allred.Photo: Andreas Branch/

As if the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal didn’t already have a tinge of the circus atmosphere to it: Gloria Allred has announced that she’ll be holding a press conference this afternoon in New York City with yet another woman accusing Herman Cain of impropriety. This woman, says Radar rather vaguely, “sought Cain’s help with an employment issue.” Unlike Cain’s other accusers, she’s not only willing to go public, but will do so in great detail (a Gloria Allred hallmark).

Allred’s press conference will be held at the Friar’s Club (where she also held her press conference on behalf of an Anthony Weiner accuser earlier this year), as if to wink at those who might say Allred’s entrance into the story officially makes it the stuff of jokes.  It certainly moves the scandal at least a bit from political to celebrity, and perhaps undermines the seriousness of the charges, at least in the public perception. Allred might have started out as a feminist crusader who knew the value of grabbing the headlines in service of her mission. She still most often takes on cases that have a wronged-woman element, but in recent years (when she’s represented Rachel Uchitel and Joslyn James, just for starters) , she’s come under criticism for grabbing those headlines and ginning up that publicity in service mostly of cold hard cash. It’s an association that might help Cain: the Allred factor gives those inclined to believe he was being taken advantage of by opportunists more grist for their theory.