When Rob Lowe starred on “The West Wing,” his character had to face many a crisis.
Now the former Brat Packer is going to have to face Gloria Allred’s real life questioning under oath.
Lowe launched a legal pre-emptive strike when he filed a lawsuit against three former employees, which included a former nanny, Jessica Gibson, against whom Lowe is alleging breach of contract and breach of a confidentiality clause. Lowe claims Gibson demanded $1.5 million in exchange for her silence concerning sexual abuse allegations.
Lowe’s lawyer has dismissed the nanny’s claims as “outrageous” and “untrue.”
Gibson, in turn, has filed a suit of her own, which alleges that during the time period between September 2005 and January 2008, the actor touched her inappropriately on several occasions.
The former nanny’s lawyer is the pervasive Gloria Allred, who immediately took her case on the cable show road.
Allred has reportedly scheduled the sworn videotaped depositions of Rob Lowe and his wife Sheryl Berkoff for late May.
“I'm sure some of the questions will make him uncomfortable, but our job is to get to the truth,” Allred told E! News. “They are going to have to sit down, and we are going to have a lot of tough questions for them.”
There appears to be plenty of material for a jury to chew on.
Gibson worked on and off for Rob and Sheryl Lowe for seven years, quit several times but apparently returned to the job.
Greta Van Susteren has gotten hold of copies of two e-mails sent by Gibson to Rob and his wife. One reads: “It was just time for my heart to let go. It's not fair to you and the boys. I have nothing but love and respect for your family.”
Another, which dealt with the subject of leaving her job, states, “It had nothing to do with you or Rob either.”
These e-mails may be pivotal in the Lowe case because of the absence of any physical proof or witnesses to the alleged harassment.
Lowe already has a character witness in the form of Aaron Sorkin, the writer-producer and creator of “The West Wing.”
Sorkin told People magazine via e-mail, “I've only known him to be a gentleman who cares first and most for his family. I've worked with Rob twice — for three years on 'The West Wing' and for another six months when he starred in the [London] West End revival of 'A Few Good Men.'”
This isn’t the first time Lowe has had to deal with bad publicity.
While attending the Democratic National Convention in the late 1980s, a videotape surfaced in which Lowe was depicted in a compromising position with a teenage girl.
You can bet Allred is going to try to convince a judge that the 20-year-old footage is still relevant evidence.
James Hirsen is a media analyst, Trinity Law School professor and teacher of mass media law at Biola University.
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