I just read that women’s rights activist and attorney Gloria Allred, representing three women who have accused Bill Cosby of being a sexual predator, has demanded that Cosby pay $100 million to her clients or waive the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits. Apparently, Ms. Allred would have Cosby agree to legal terms which she would strongly advise her own clients against. Does she do this simply because he is supposed to cower since her fearsome name is attached to a demand that has no legal teeth? To a useless demand she makes in front of news cameras during a press release?
Without making any claims on the merits of the accusations, it is entirely possible to question the motivations of Ms. Allred. Is it the money (her share of the proposed $100 million settlement) or is it the media exposure she is craving, or both? Money is a legitimate motivation. So is recognition. But, she knows the law, apparently, since she is a lawyer. Why would she expect anyone to waive their rights under the law?
This is way over the top, sensationalist, and not becoming of an officer of the court. It is akin to the House passing a populist bill they know the Senate will refuse to consider, or the Senate passing one that they know the House will vote down. Nothing gets accomplished other than a parade of ugly mugs on the evening news explaining to us how they are really the ones who want to serve the people, all while serving only themselves. It is all for show. It is entertainment at the expense of others.
“Still beating your wife?”
I simply find it incredulous that bad legal advice offered to a potential defendant by a plaintiff’s attorney should be taken as something that is newsworthy, other than it being ludicrous. Cosby has made no comment about this, but his refusal to comply I would take as a given. This is nothing more than positioning since the perception in the media will be seen as evidence of Cosby’s guilt.
“Still beating your wife?”
It seems that men are guilty because they are not women.
“Pay me a hundred million dollars or it will look like you are guilty. By the way, are you still beating your wife?” There is no answer that puts us in a favorable light. You pay the money, you look guilty. You refuse to pay the money, you look guilty. You stopped beating your wife several years ago? Hmmmmm! There is no answer to the old, bad joke.
There is a statute of limitations for civil suits for a reason. Why anyone expects Bill Cosby to exempt himself from it, or for it not to be applicable to him, is a sign that the rational world as we know it has been overtaken by the most shallow tomfoolery passing for prudence. It is a sign that the cause of the day is allowed to pass through media without any scrutiny. Memes outpace mores. The weight of incomplete knowledge is brought to bear on the topic that is suddenly but inexplicably expedient. This is all because the topic of the day must be covered. I have seen it on my own blog. If I write about something current in the news, I get more hits. If I write about something not related to current events, I get far fewer views. Consequently, this one is likely to get pretty far on the view scale, but for all the wrong reasons. Many will be disappointed at my inability to add to the conversation beyond observations about the legal demands Ms. Allred has made of Mr. Cosby.
I trust Mr. Cosby will rely on his own counsel and not depend on Ms. Allred for instructions.
Mr. Cosby may be a monster. He may not. But public opinion does not wait for the facts, or a trial. Public opinion races ahead with its own judgment and sentence.
We all have it coming, this harsh judgment. It could be our only shot at Warhol’s fifteen minutes of fame.
©2014 Mississippi Chris Sharp