Gloria Allred was very happy that Bill Cosby was convicted of sexual misconduct. Allred is a tireless advocate for women who’ve been pawed or preyed on by bad guys.
It was an odd choice. The Friars Club has been under the cloud of a much publicized sexual harrassment lawsuit filed by its former receptionist, Rehanna Almestica. The woman named former Scribe and celebrity wrangler Bruce Charet in particular. Charet is still there at the Friars– in February he announced the club was going to roast Allred at an upcoming event.
Almestica said in her lawsuit that Charet did a variety of gross things to her that don’t bear repeating here. He denied all of it.
Another former employee, Shea Zephir, quit and posted to Facebook that Charet had made sexist comments to her. Her tirade was also anti-Semitic in nature, but her basic point was clear.
The Friars Club is in a sensitive position regarding #MeToo complaints. They had to cancel a planned roast of KISS rocker Gene Simmons after he was sued for sexual battery and banned from Fox News after alleged sexual misbehavior toward their female staff.
Another planned roast, of Harvey Weinstein, was canceled for similar issues.
The Friars Club was raided by federal Postal Inspectors in February 2017 after news of the Charet lawsuit and allegations of financial misconduct surfaced. Inspectors spent the day going through the East 55th St. townhouse that functions as the clubhouse, and took away boxes of material. The case is still open.
Allred’s choice, then, seems somewhat bizarre.
Meantime, I’m hearing that Friars Club members are resigning, in numbers, because of a huge fee hike. “They need the money to pay their lawyers,” says an insider.