Jeff Herman: Oprah Winfrey's ennemy was once accused of rape

Article published on Jan. 17, 2018
Article published on Jan. 17, 2018

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

With the #MeToo movement reaching all-time highs, and the #TimesUp initiative gaining major momentum, the fight against high-profile Hollywood executives has only just begun, reuniting millions of women to the cause. And in her presidential-like speech given at the 2018 Golden Globes ceremony, Oprah Winfrey proved to the world she was one of them.

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A woman on a mission, unafraid to reveal the names of those responsible for causing so much hurt and anguish in the industry.

So much so, Americans are now hailing Oprah as the next President of the United States of America, with the third trending hashtag of the moment #Oprah2020.

Chanting: "For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up", Oprah referred to the multiple sexual abuse claims currently shaking the country and Hollywood, with Harvey Weinstein, Larry King, John Travolta, among many more big names being catalogued as sexual predators.

Following Oprah's example, it is time for the public to reveal names, and for the media to take advantage of their power and reach, like The Hollywood Reporter who recently disclosed a particularly sordid case involving a prominent American attorney to the stars, himself accused of rape in 1998.

Jeff Herman is a self-proclaimed "nationally-recognized trial lawyer and advocate for survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation", although his then 19 year-old receptionist accused him of a brutal rape whilst she was working for him.

The Hollywood Reporter first recounted the rape allegations in December 2017, and released the full police report filed by the victim 5 days following the attack:

“After taking off his pants she stated that he put his head between her legs, and stated “I want to eat you out” (…) She said stop, and squirmed away (…) Once again she pushed away and told him that she wasn’t going to have sex with him (…) when she refused, he took her hand, and put it on his penis. At that time he said “just finish me off.””

Revoltingly, all allegations were later dropped, and the case was never brought to court going against police recommendation, in a now all too common situation of her word against his.

Oprah was right once again, women are not heard or believed when faced with brutally powerful men.

Ironically, over the years, Herman has become the go-to lawyer on sexual abuse cases in Hollywood, recently representing actresses Dominique Huett and Kadian Noble in the notorious Weinstein scandal.

Herman has largely profited from his status, appearing on television shows to talk about his cases and others, and releasing publications such as: "It isn’t easy, but here’s how you bring down powerful men accused of rape"… Do we need to say much more?

We can only hope the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns will pick up on this new scandal, bring it to eruption and force Jeff Herman to be seen for what he really is: a money and fame-hungry so-called lawyer, capitalizing on women's pain and trauma, he once inflicted himself on a young and innocent teenager.