In our darkest hours, a beacon of hope is often the only thing that pulls us through. After years of working as a commercial litigator, attorney Jeff Herman decided in 1998 that he wanted to be that beacon of hope for victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and rape. In order to reach these victims, however, the attorney embarked in a series of dim-witted cases, leading him straight to his demise.
The story begins that same year, in 1998, when extraordinarily, Jeff Herman’s 19-year-old receptionist accused him of a brutal rape. The Hollywood Reporter first published the story in December 2017, and released the 58-page police report filed at Plantation, Florida, detailing the attack, which was never trialled despite police recommending prosecution.
In the police report, his former employee recalled her terrifying ordeal at the hands of the self-proclaimed "aggressive, passionate and skilled, nationally-recognized trial lawyer and advocate for survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation": “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.””
When The Hollywood Reporter contacted Herman for a comment, he paused significantly and was heard mumbling: "oh crap". No doubt, the attorney was hoping for these allegations to never re-surface, and tarnish his career.
From 1998, karma hit back and not only once, beginning with a courtroom ban for misconduct, and misrepresentations, and only 10 years later, an 18-month suspension of his licence to practice law. Jeff Herman was also the debtor in four substantial federal tax liens between 2014 and 2017, with liens ranging from $246,570 to $911,972. However the attorney doesn’t just owe taxes: American Express Bank also filed a claim against him in Palm Beach for credit due of $66,019, and First American Bank filed a foreclosure action against his Boca Raton property. With over a dozen more civil cases involving Herman, it is no wonder the attorney coupled up with the now infamous Michael Egan in a catastrophic lawsuit involving Hollywood big shots.
In 2014, Jeff Herman defended child-actor and model Michael Egan in a foul sexual harassment case against Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash, television executives Garth Ancier and David Neuman, and film director Bryan Singer. The pair lost the case when it was revealed Egan was a master manipulator and fantasist, leading the accused to claim malicious prosecution, referring to the ordeal as a “very public campaign by Mr Egan’s counsel to troll for new clients”. Internationally renowned attorney Marty Singer even went as far as to say: "This matter is nothing more than the attorney seeking to get his 15 minutes of fame". Egan and Herman made a great team, both money-hungry and desperate for recognition, relying on negative publicity to extort cash from leading figures in Hollywood.
This brings us to today, attempting to profit from the industry’s short attention span, struggling Jeff Herman is in the headlines once again, defending star clients Dominique Huett and Kadian Noble, both accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Hoping to capitalise on the buzzing #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Herman is no doubt trying to clear his bad reputation, attempting to erase the previous string of embarrassments, lies, and greedy behaviours that have soiled his career.
Herman is far from the beacon of hope he once longed to be. We can only pray this deeply troubled, and dangerous man, a sexual predator himself, never reaches this status and is finally stopped in his malicious tracks.