Cash hungry

Celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred just announced she was embarking on a 60-day hunger strike.

The reason? Allred, 69, says she will end her strike on August 20 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. But the real purpose of going hungry, she says, is to call attention to the Equal Rights Amendment, the proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee equal rights under federal, state and local law. Allred’s move is meant to call attention to the plight of women across the United States who are routinely denied equal pay and equal opportunity.

Great, awesome—here’s hoping all that caloric depravation will really make people think twice about their actions.

At the very least, maybe it will make Allred take another look at her own recent role in the exploitation of women.

In years past, Allred made a name for herself taking on high-profile gender-rights cases. She once notably (and successfully) sued the Friars Club in Beverly Hills over its membership policies that denied women the right to join the club.

In the ’90s, Allred famously represented Nicole Brown Simpson’s family during the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and represented actress Hunter Tylo when Aaron Spelling fired her from Melrose Place because she was pregnant.

More recently, however, Allred’s earned notoriety as the go-to lawyer for the so-called “other woman.”

In 2009 and 2010, Allred has basked in the media spotlight by representing Jesse James’ and Tiger Woods’ myriad flings.

Allred’s website touts her as a “discrimination attorney, feminist lawyer”—but how exactly is she a feminist these days, and what has she accomplished?

A $10 million dollar payday for Woods’ mistress Rachel Uchitel? Please don’t tell me this is considered a progressive step for women’s rights. If anything, it sends the message that not only is it a right to sleep with a famous, married man, but one should also expect a hefty cash-out in the end.

And to what degree did she defend anyone’s civil rights when she represented Woods’ porn-star girlfriend Veronica Siwik-Daniels on the grounds that he misled Siwik-Daniels to believe she was “the only woman in his life.”

Apparently Siwik-Daniels—and one would believe Allred, for that matter—lived under a rock protected from all reports of the golfer’s wife and family.

Don’t get me wrong: The men in question—Woods, James, et al.—are selfish, careless and arrogant.

Lousy dogs—all of ’em.

But Allred does the world no favors when she steps up to the podium, leans into the microphone and faces the cameras—because there are always cameras—to ask the world to believe that she is a champion of women’s rights.

Allred was once a fearless defender of equal rights for women, minorities, the repressed and the victimized—she once successfully sued a company that had promised to pay restitution for Auschwitz survivors.

That’s why it’s just all the more sad and disturbing that her latest “accomplishments” are rooted in celebrity culture’s seedy and sordid underbelly.

Today, Allred’s most notable cases not only reek of exploitative dishonor, they carry a rancid whiff of desperation—anything for the limelight, the microphones, the cameras. She’s the worst possible kind of ambulance chaser—attracted to the glitz, the notoriety, and the promise of a big payday and bigger headlines.

Sorry, Gloria, but that’s not good citizenship, much less feminism.