Tara Reade Is Dropped As Client By Leading #MeToo Lawyer
The New York Times reports that Douglas H. Widgor, “a leading plaintiff’s attorney of the #MeToo era,” announced on May 22 that he is no longer representing Tara Reade in her case against Joe Biden.
Reade has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her while she worked for him as an aide when he was a senator.
The Times writes that Wigdor’s firm is best known “for bringing discrimination cases against Fox News—and its former star host Bill O’Reilly—and Harvey Weinstein, and his presence at Ms. Reade’s side gave her claims added legal heft.”
However, Wigdor left the case without providing a reason for his departure. He did say that this was “by no means a reflection on whether then-Senator Biden sexually assaulted Reade.” Wigdor asserted that he was among the 55% of Americans who believed Reade’s allegation.
Wigdor had what the Times called a “parting shot for the news media”: “Much of what has been written about Ms. Reade is not probative of whether then-Senator Biden sexually assaulted her, but rather is intended to victim-shame and attack her credibility on unrelated and irrelevant matters… [We] will continue to represent survivors regardless of their alleged predator’s status or politics.”
Wigdor’s departure comes one day after defense attorneys in California announced that they were reviewing criminal cases wherein Reade had testified as an expert witness on domestic homicide. Attorneys have expressed that they are concerned Reade misrepresented her credentials.
On May 21, defense attorneys said they were investigating Reade’s credentials as an expert witness. The Times reports that Reade “testified as a government witness in Monterey County courts for nearly a decade, describing herself as an expert in the dynamics of domestic violence who had counseled hundreds of victims.”
Roland Soltesz, a criminal defense attorney, says that he believes Reade’s testimony had a serious impact on the trial for his 2018 client Victoria Ramirez, who received a life sentence for attempted murder, arson, and armed robbery.
During the 2018 trial, Reade testified that she had received a liberal arts degree from Antioch University.
However, the Times reports that “an Antioch spokeswoman, Karen Hamilton, told the Times that while… Reade had attended classes, she was certain [she] had not received a degree.”
The Times received an image from Reade portraying a transcript “showing her with 35 course credits, her department as ‘BA Completion’ and nothing listed under ‘date conferred’ or ‘degree conferred.’”
Reade claims that she received her degree through a special program and arrangements with then-President Tullisse Murdock to preserve her anonymity and protect her from an abusive ex-husband.
Hamilton, however, asserts that she spoke with Murdock and there was no such special arrangement. Furthermore, a student must earn at least 180 credits in order to graduate.
Soletsz said that he “could care less about the politics of this whole thing.”
“People have been convicted based upon this, and that’s wrong,” he said.