In a groundbreaking investigation, The Hollywood Reporter uncovered how in 1998, Jeff Herman, the attorney that would become the "leading lawyer for sexual abuse victims", was himself accused of rape by his teenage receptionist.
Shockingly, Jeff Herman escaped prosecution despite what the police recommended.
When Jeff Herman was questioned by The Hollywood Reporter, he could only mumble "oh crap".
The Hollywood Reporter article is available here:
Jeff Herman, Go-To Attorney for Hollywood Sex Abuse Claims, Was Once Accused of Rape
4:12 PM PST 12/8/2017 by Jonathan Handel
In the news for suing Bryan Singer (again), Herman escaped prosecution despite what the police recommended. He denies the allegations.
Harvey Weinstein accusers, actresses Kadian Noble and Dominique Huett, and on Thursday made more news by reportedly suing director Bryan Singer for allegedly raping Cesar Sanchez-Guzman in 2003, when he was 17 years old.
2014 rape cases against Singer and three other Hollywood gay men that collapsed within weeks, forcing Herman to admit to “untrue and provably false allegations” and pay a settlement to two of the men.
Florida-based Herman had previously been disciplined in two separate incidents of misconduct involving dishonesty. Nonetheless, he has become a go-to lawyer on sexual abuse in Hollywood and has appeared on television to talk about his cases and others.
publicly discussed is that he was accused of committing rape in 1998.
Three weeks ago, The Hollywood Reporter was contacted by the receptionist’s ex-boyfriend, who informed THR of a 58-page police report, which THR obtained from the Plantation, Fla. police department. He also noted that she never sought money or filed suit. Herman denied the allegations then and denied them to THR on Thursday, after first professing confusion. The police recommended prosecution, but prosecutors declined to file charges.
In a phone interview recorded with Herman’s consent, the lawyer expressed incredulity when asked about allegations of rape, then answered “no” when asked specifically about the receptionist, after which he seemed to mumble, “Oh, crap” (which may not be discernable on cellphone or laptop speakers). His answers were prefaced with long, halting pauses.
THR has learned, a reporter for TMZ contacted Singer’s representatives for comment on an exclusive story, that Herman had filed a new lawsuit against Singer (although actually Herman’s name is not on the complaint that appears on his website). The story posted a few minutes later and was widely picked up, effectively preempting the news cycle ahead of this article.
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The Allegations and Response
Herman was the owner and managing partner of Herman Law Firm, P.A., which had offices on the 26th floor of a dramatic office tower in Miami. At 39, he was twice as old as the then 19-year-old receptionist/file clerk, who had been on the job for just two months and had only recently moved to the city and out of her parents’ small-town home.
the rape allegedly took place at Herman’s Florida home.
Herman removed the receptionist’s shorts and violated her with his hands and penis. After she protested, she said, he compelled her to use her hand to satisfy him.
He said the receptionist expressed interest in him, so he called her. He said his wife had left him a month or two before the incident.
The Police Recommend Prosecution, but Prosecutors Decline
Florida rape statute. However, several months later, Broward County assistant state attorney Dennis Nicewander declined to prosecute, citing “insufficient evidence.”
THR in an interview that he would likely have reached the same decision not to proceed had he known that just one year earlier, a federal judge in Oregon had barred Herman from his courtroom for life because of dishonesty, an extraordinary move.
THR is withholding her name. Back in 1998, she told police that she had contemporaneously described the incident to her boyfriend (who confirms as much to THR), another friend and others, but the police apparently did not interview them, and their names are redacted.
THR that she quit at the end of the week in question and did not report rape or harassment to the law firm, since Herman was the managing partner and his mother was the office administrator and HR person. The receptionist visited a rape counselor, then filed her police complaint five days after quitting.
THR has previously reported. In addition, he lied at a press conference involving his client Egan, claiming to have investigated Egan’s claims for six months before filing suit, when in fact an email later obtained by THR showed that Egan had only been a client for about half that time. And his firm’s self-described “Special Investigative Unit” never produced any corroborating evidence in Egan’s cases so far as is known, and overlooked readily discoverable exculpatory evidence.
THR that his history of dishonesty and bringing people into disrepute on false accusations were merely “irrelevant blemishes“ on his record.