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1994.07.18 - People Magazine - Bye Bye Love (Axl)

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1994.07.18 - People Magazine - Bye Bye Love (Axl) Empty 1994.07.18 - People Magazine - Bye Bye Love (Axl)

Post by Blackstar on Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:00 am

Bye Bye Love

By STEVE DOUGHERTY

She’s got eyes of the bluest skies as if they thought of rain/ I hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain.”

Guns N’ Roses founder Axl Rose—infamous for heavy metal screeds like “Back Off Bitch”—is generally not known for his love songs. But the raucous rocker’s 1988 hit, “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” was as tender as a power ballad can get. A No. 1 single, Rose’s song was written for then girlfriend Erin Everly—a waiflike 22-year-old whose father, Don, had been half of rock’s singing Everly Brothers. In 1990, four years after they met, Axl and Erin were married. By Everly’s account, however, the couple’s duet had dissolved into screams and violent discord long before they made it to the altar. In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE done before the O.J. Simpson case focused the nation on domestic violence, Everly describes a pattern of abuse frighteningly similar to the Simpsons’ relationship preceding Nicole Simpson’s murder. Everly says that throughout her four years with Rose, she suffered regular beatings that left her bruised, bloodied and sometimes unconscious. “You never knew what would set him off,” she says.

Like other alleged batterings, the final one, meted out in Rose’s West Hollywood luxury condo in November 1990, ended as abruptly as it had begun, with an argument over her cleaning of his CD collection. But this time, Everly says, she did something she’d never done before. “I didn’t think I could survive mentally any longer; I was dying inside,” she recalls. “At the door I turned around and said, ‘I want you to look at me, because you’re never going to see me again.’ And he never has.”

Now, four years later, however, Everly, 28, is indeed hoping to see Rose, 32, at least one more time—in court. In March she filed suit in Los Angeles, charging that he had subjected her to physical and emotional abuse. Everly claims that during his frequent, unpredictable rages, Rose brandished guns, smashed her belongings and yanked telephones from the wall. At one point, she alleges, he removed all the doors inside her apartment so that he could monitor her movements. “I was afraid when he came in, when he left, when he wasn’t there,” she says.

Rose refused to be interviewed about Everly’s accusations, but in court papers he claims that the 5’6″, 104-lb. Everly provoked him—Rose is 5’9″, 145 lbs.—and that his actions were purely in self-defense. A friend, who agreed to speak for Rose anonymously, concedes that the couple “did have a combative relationship. But,” she adds, “Erin portrays herself as the victim and him as the evil aggressor. From what I witnessed, she was the aggressor.” Everly, in turn, denies striking Rose. “That was never my reaction, to hit somebody,” she says. “I don’t even spank my dogs.”

Everly launched the suit after being subpoenaed in a court action by Rose’s former girlfriend, model Stephanie Seymour. In that case, Rose and Seymour exchange similar charges of physical abuse (see box, page 52). Now waging legal battles on at least two fronts, Rose reportedly plans to take time off from Guns N’ Roses, whose last album, The Spaghetti Incident, sold far less than its predecessors and whose fortunes appear to be fading.

Promising futures seemed to await both Axl Rose and Erin Everly when the two met at a party in L.A. in 1986. He was an unknown 24-year-old with a fledgling rock band. Everly, then a 19-year-old Los Angeles native who had moved to New York City at 16 to model for the Wilhelmina agency, quickly fell for the ambitious rocker and moved back to California lo be with him. “It was the first relationship I had had—I felt like we were two people who didn’t have much but who had found each other,” says Everly of the state of mind both brought to the romance. “I was looking for someone who wanted to get married, have a bunch of children and a station wagon.”

Neither she nor Rose had ever had a traditional family life. By his own account, Axl and his younger siblings, Stuart and Amy, had hellish childhoods. According to Axl, he was sexually abused at 2 by his father, William, and allegedly beaten by his strict fundamentalist Christian stepfather, Steve Bailey. Axl, who believes his biological father dead and is estranged from his stepfather, has also said that anger he felt toward his mother, Sharon, contributed to his admitted misogyny. A bright but troubled student who joined the chorus and track team, Rose dropped out of his Lafayette, Ind., high school in his junior year. By 1982, when he moved to L.A. with then girlfriend Gina Siler, 17, he had been arrested four times for minor offenses and placed in a court-ordered alcohol-abuse program.

According to Siler, now 28, Rose was alternately affectionate and abusive during their relationship, which ended three years after the move to L.A. “Tumultuous is putting it mildly,” Siler says. “He could be kind and loving, and at other times he was violent and irrational.”

As Everly would later be, Siler was moved by Rose’s accounts of his early years. “Axl told me [that] when he was a baby, his real dad went insane, and his stepdad was oppressive,” she says. “I think he’s always had this ‘life owes me’ attitude.”

Everly too had endured a rocky childhood. Beset by drug problems, her father suffered a breakdown in 1963, was later hospitalized and received electroshock treatments. In 1970 he split from second wife Venetia Stevenson, a former actress (1958’s Darby’s Rangers), with whom he had three children: Erin, sister Stacey, now a 31-year-old California artist and brother Eden, 25 and a musician in L.A. “I never had bad memories of him,” says Erin, who was 7 when her parents divorced. “I had no memories.”

When Don Everly, pleading poverty, balked at paying child support, Stevenson took work as a clothing designer. In 1974 she moved the family from an upscale Studio City neighborhood to a more modest rented home in L.A., and the children transferred from the exclusive Buckley private school to public schools. A slow learner who suffered from dyslexia, Erin enjoyed being home and playing with her dolls and baby brother and, as she got older, offering emotional support to her mother. “I always felt like I had to look after her,” she says. “I’m a caretaker.”

She was also a magnet for Rose. After they moved in together in 1986, she continued modeling to pay the rent on their Hollywood apartment. Nights were spent accompanying him to the seedy Sunset Strip bars where he and Guns N’ Roses bandmates Saul “Slash” Hudson, boyhood friend Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan and Steven Adler (he and Stradlin left the band in the early 1990s) performed. “When you’re in love, you want to be with the person every minute,” she says. “My life was taking care of Axl.”

And a high-maintenance task it was. Guns N’ Roses hit big in 1987 with Appetite for Destruction—the biggest-selling (17 million copies) debut album in history—and Rose seemed ill-prepared to handle the pressure. He turned up late for shows and battled with police, security guards, fans and anyone who triggered his temper. Lawyers for ex-bandmate Adler claim their client saw Rose throw a woman down a flight of stairs in 1990 after she refused to have sex with him.

According to Everly, Rose was bringing his tantrums home early on. She can’t recall the first time he hit her. “It’s like an earthquake where after it’s over you think, ‘What was that?’ ” she says of beatings that often began over matters as trivial as stubbing his toe or being awakened by a ringing telephone. “There’s so much anger in him. Maybe I was this easy person to take it out on.”

As Rose’s career took off, Everly’s faltered. In 1987 she abruptly canceled one of her last modeling assignments, a lingerie shoot. “She told me [Rose] had dragged her from her apartment and that she had abrasions up and down her body,” says her New York City modeling agent, Faith Kates. In the end, says Kates: “it was sad. She’d had this sparkle in her eye, and it was gone.”

Like many domestic-violence victims, Everly protected the partner who she now says beat her. When her model friend Taryn Portman called the L.A. police after one violent episode in 1986, Erin told officers it was a false alarm. “I was really torn,” Everly says. “Here was my best friend trying to protect me. But there was Axl [hiding behind the door]. My fear was bigger than you can imagine.”

According to Everly, Rose had no compunction about abusing her in front of others. Her friend Heidi Rich-man, an independent TV producer, says she witnessed Rose hitting Erin at a crowded 1987 barbecue at a house in the Hollywood Hills. “He was beating her, pulling her hair,” says Richman. “He was like a rabid dog.

Despite pleas from friends and her mother to leave Rose, Everly refused. “I always believed things would get better,” she says. “And I felt sorry for him. I thought I could make [his early childhood suffering] all better.”

On April 27,1990, says Everly, Rose, who by then had moved out of the couple’s home and bought a luxury condo above Sunset Strip, showed up at her door unannounced at 4 a.m. As she tells it, he told her he had a gun in the car and that he would kill himself if she didn’t marry him. On the long drive to Las Vegas, she says, he promised that he would never hit her again and never divorce her. Twenty-four hours later they look their vows at the Cupid Wedding Chapel. One month later, says Everly, Rose first threatened divorce. And two months after that, he beat her so badly she was hospitalized.

While Everly was in the hospital, he sparked a reconciliation by moving her belongings into his condo. Domestic bliss, if it ever materialized, was short-lived. By then, Everly says, she was forbidden to see her friends and Rose, who had become a wealthy man, refused to give her money or even a door key; she claims that he often locked her out, then gave her permission to return only when he felt like it. Says Everly: “I used to go into the bathroom to cry. I’d turn the water on so he couldn’t hear me, because that would set him off too.”

In September 1990, Everly learned that she was pregnant. “This was all I wanted,” she says. “I thought it could have been a cure for Axl.” If so, it didn’t take: Everly says that Rose’s elation quickly soured and that he threw her out of the condo and threatened to take the baby. When she miscarried in her third month, Everly had to sell her Jeep to cover medical costs. As Everly recuperated, Rose trashed the house in the Hollywood Hills they had been preparing to move into, causing $100,000 in damages.

Everly had finally had enough. In November of that year—after suffering that last beating, she says—she walked. “I’d lost everything,” she says. “I had no more fight and no more compassion for the abuse he had gone through.”

After the breakup (the marriage was annulled in January 1991), Rose continued to try to contact Everly for more than a year, she says, sending her flowers, letters and even caged birds. Everly, who received no financial settlement and camped with friends and family, sold her wedding rings for cash and in 1991 rented her own condo in the San Fernando Valley. “One day the phone rings,” she says. ” ‘Hello, it’s Axl.’ I moved the next day.”

In 1992 she briefly dated Donovan Leitch, son of ’60s troubadour Donovan; she also began psychotherapy. Ironically, Rose too began therapy around the same time, admitting in interviews that he was manic-depressive. “I’m trying to channel my energy in more positive ways,” he said in 1991, “but it doesn’t always work.”

Last year, Everly began seeing actor David Arquette, 22, brother of actresses Rosanna and Patricia. At first Everly was so skittish she’d flinch if Arquette moved suddenly. “I don’t know how many times I’ve had to tell her, ‘I’m not going to hit you,’ ” he says.

Although Arquette encouraged her “to stand up and talk about” her ordeal, it wasn’t until Seymour’s lawyers subpoenaed Everly to testify about her experiences with Rose that Everly began to feel she was a victim. “She [thought], ‘It was my fault; he’s not abusing Stephanie,’ ” recalls Taryn Portman. “So when [that] case became public, that did a lot of healing.”

Rose’s camp believes Everly is pressing the suit for monetary gain, but Erin, who lives in L.A. with support from family members, insists she merely wants to put the traumatic relationship with Rose behind her. And though Arquette, now her steady, contends that Everly still fears Rose, she asserts that she no longer feels helpless. “It’s not a matter of winning or losing,” she says of the suit, which her lawyer hopes will be heard within the year. “I would like to give [Rose] back this pain. It doesn’t have to be my burden anymore.”

STEVE DOUGHERTY
KRISTINA JOHNSON and LORENZO BENET in Los Angeles


https://people.com/archive/cover-story-bye-bye-love-vol-42-no-3/
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1994.07.18 - People Magazine - Bye Bye Love (Axl) Empty Re: 1994.07.18 - People Magazine - Bye Bye Love (Axl)

Post by Blackstar on Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:16 pm

A little background for this article in a New York Times story from 2018. Thanks to @misfit79
(I have highlighted the related part in red):
He Fixes the Worst P.R. Crises Imaginable.
Then Came Harvey Weinstein.

Michael Sitrick built his career on helping the rich and powerful deflect damaging headlines. There was no spinning this.

Michael Sitrick couldn’t comment on Harvey Weinstein.

Until a few weeks earlier, Mr. Sitrick’s crisis management firm, Sitrick and Company, had been managing Mr. Weinstein’s unprecedented crisis.

Until a few weeks earlier, Mr. Sitrick’s crisis management firm, Sitrick and Company, had been managing Mr. Weinstein’s unprecedented crisis.

Mr. Sitrick had dropped Mr. Weinstein, but he couldn’t say why. He couldn’t confirm if it was because Mr. Weinstein had stopped paying his bills, though he could confirm it was true that Mr. Weinstein had stopped paying his bills, and that the two parties were in arbitration.

He couldn’t say if there were other factors. But he could say what were not factors. He could confirm, for instance, that he did not resign out of concern for his company’s own reputation. “You can’t do that,” Mr. Sitrick said. “You cannot put your firm’s interests ahead of the client’s interests.”

Mr. Sitrick could also confirm that he had not grown morally uncomfortable with the flood of allegations against Mr. Weinstein. When I asked about this — and this was not long before Mr. Weinstein would be arrested in Manhattan on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act and swiftly indicted by a grand jury — he looked at me as if I’d just stepped off a U.F.O. “The law of this land is innocent until proven guilty,” Mr. Sitrick said. “There hasn’t been a single case that has gone to trial.”

All this to say: Mr. Sitrick could not “comment,” but he could do what he has made a fortune doing for the better part of three decades. He could spin.

Better Call Sitrick

Even if you don’t know his name, you know his work. Mr. Sitrick has been managing the narratives of besieged celebrities since the early 1990s.

He represented Kelsey Grammer when the star was accused of having sex with his underage babysitter. He helped Christian Slater when the actor was arrested on charges of assaulting his girlfriend, biting a man who tried to stop him and then trying to grab a police officer’s gun. When Erin Everly, about whom Axl Rose wrote “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” was suing Mr. Rose for assault and sexual battery, Mr. Sitrick got her story on the cover of People magazine.

Mr. Sitrick was retained by Halle Berry when she was in a hit-and-run, Naomi Campbell when she was accused of assaulting her housekeeper, and Rush Limbaugh when he was arrested on prescription drug charges.

“Paris absolutely did not smoke pot Tuesday night or Wednesday morning,” Mr. Sitrick told a reporter shortly after Paris Hilton was released from jail in 2007. When The New York Daily News reported that Kobe Bryant may have been flirting with someone other than his wife at a Jay-Z concert, Mr. Sitrick was there to push back: “There was no touching of the face, and he did not dance with her.”

It was Mr. Sitrick who released the first statement on behalf of Chris Brown after he was arrested on charges of assaulting Rihanna: “Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired. I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God’s help, to emerging a better person.”

Mr. Sitrick has also deployed his strategies on behalf of Michael Vick (the dogfighting ring), Alex Rodriguez (the steroid scandal) and R. Kelly (where to begin).

But although his celebrity clients attract a disproportionate amount of media coverage, they represent less than 10 percent of Mr. Sitrick’s caseload, he said. Corporate crises are his specialty, including Exxon after the Valdez oil spill, Enron during its accounting-fraud implosion and Theranos, the company that claimed to have revolutionized blood testing but didn’t.

Mr. Sitrick helped Roy Disney oust Michael Eisner, and he helped American Apparel oust Dov Charney. He has represented the Daniel Pearl Foundation, on a pro bono basis, and the creator of “Girls Gone Wild.”

One of Mr. Sitrick’s more notorious cases was for years taught at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, a kind of cautionary tale about the perils of going undercover.

In the early 1990s, two producers for “Primetime Live,” an ABC news program, got jobs in Food Lion supermarkets and secretly videotaped workers, raising questions about the company’s meat handling practices. Food Lion then went to Mr. Sitrick, who obtained outtakes of the videos and raised questions about ABC’s practices, effectively turning a story about bad meat into a story about bad journalism.

Richard Wald, an emeritus professor at Columbia, was an executive at ABC at the time, and he has asked Mr. Sitrick to address his journalism students over the years. The point of the lesson, according to Mr. Wald, is that “just because a journalist is finished with a story does not mean the story is finished with the journalist.” Of Mr. Sitrick’s work for Food Lion, Mr. Wald said: “He did an absolutely brilliant job, but it annoyed the hell out of me at the time.”

The Court of Public Opinion
Mr. Sitrick, 70, was once a journalism student himself, at the University of Maryland. He moved into public relations after graduation, following a stint reporting for the Baltimore News-American. “I love journalism,” he remembers telling his wife, Nancy Sitrick, “but I’d rather eat.”

When Mr. Sitrick moved to Los Angeles with his wife and three young daughters and founded his firm, in 1989, he made it something of a policy to hire onetime editors and reporters. “It’s easier to teach journalists P.R. than to teach publicists what news judgment is,” he said.

Sitrick and Company quickly acquired a reputation for pushing back against the press, using many of the same strategies as journalists. Mr. Sitrick represented the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles during its sex abuse scandal, the Kabbalah Center when journalists suspected it of being a cult, and the Church of Scientology during its investigation by The New Yorker.

The prominent lawyer Edwin Stier, a former federal prosecutor, said he has retained Mr. Sitrick in cases in which “a public relations strategy became important to try to get accurate information in the public domain powerfully enough to move public opinion and change national policy.” He recently sought Mr. Sitrick’s help to protect the scoops in “Icarus,” the documentary about Olympic doping. It went on to win an Oscar.

Other powerful lawyers turn to Mr. Sitrick, including Marc Kasowitz, part of President Trump’s personal legal team, who said he has used Mr. Sitrick in a “variety of large, high-profile cases.” When Mr. Kasowitz emailed a stranger with threats last July, warning him to “Watch your back, bitch,” Mr. Sitrick responded to the press inquiries that followed: “While no excuse, the email came at the end of a very long day that at 10 p.m. was not yet over.”

One advantage to being retained by lawyers for a client rather than by the client himself is that Mr. Sitrick is technically a member of the legal team, and therefore protected by attorney-client privilege. And though he is not a lawyer, Mr. Sitrick views himself as a litigator in the court of public opinion. He also charges lawyerly rates — as much as $1,100 an hour.

Enter Harvey Weinstein
It was in early October, a couple of days after The New York Times published its first report about Harvey Weinstein, that the Hollywood producer called upon Mr. Sitrick to fix the unfixable.

Mr. Weinstein had initially handled his own press, together with Lisa Bloom, the lawyer and daughter of Gloria Allred. It hadn’t gone well. “I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s,” Mr. Weinstein said in an early statement, before announcing a $5 million foundation for female directors, to be named after his mother, and misquoting Jay-Z lyrics: “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.”

Mr. Sitrick, who said his memory of the initial contact is hazy, was called by Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers on Oct. 7, the day Mr. Sitrick’s mother died. He was in Chicago making funeral arrangements.

It was for this reason that he passed the Weinstein case to his colleague Sallie Hofmeister, Mr. Sitrick said, not because of the optics of having a woman run things, as reports suggested.

Ms. Hofmeister is a former journalist who had worked at The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. She took over on Oct. 8, the day Mr. Weinstein was fired by the Weinstein Company.

Mr. Sitrick described his firm’s role in the Weinstein saga this way: “Our job was to make sure nothing was issued to the media, no statements, without clearance from the lawyers. Our job was to find out what information the reporters had, what information they wanted, go to the lawyers, tell them, and talk to the lawyers about what they wanted to say.”

Ms. Hofmeister issued Sitrick and Company’s first response, on Oct. 10, when The New Yorker published an article that included accusations of rape and reported that people at the Weinstein Company knew about the misconduct. “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” the statement said. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”

It went on: “Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

That was the first and last time the firm’s statements would refer to “a second chance.” Later that day, The New York Times published another article, this one containing quotations from Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie accusing Mr. Weinstein of abuse of power.

As the #MeToo dam broke, the allegations against Mr. Weinstein multiplied. So did Sitrick and Company’s rebuttals. An abridged timeline:

Oct. 19: “Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events, but believes Lupita is a brilliant actress and a major force for the industry. Last year, she sent a personal invitation to Mr. Weinstein to see her in her Broadway show Eclipsed.”

Oct. 23: “Brit Marling is a super talented actress and writer. Mr. Weinstein has a different recollection of the events.”

Dec. 14: “All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.”

Jan. 30: “Your piece omitted that Rose says she faked an orgasm while Mr. Weinstein was performing oral sex on her. Why? It’s misleading to leave out that part that she describes in detail in her book. Can you please update your story to include her full description of the encounter?”

Feb. 3: “Mr. Weinstein acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms. Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologized and deeply regrets. However her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue.”

By February, more than 80 women had accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment or sexual assault, and many of his business associates had spoken about a culture of complicity at his companies.

Things would get even worse for Mr. Weinstein. On Feb. 11, Eric T. Schneiderman, then the New York attorney general, before he resigned after reports that he assaulted four women, filed a civil rights lawsuit against Mr. Weinstein.

Mr. Weinstein was already under investigation by law enforcement in three cities. That same day, the Weinstein Company filed for bankruptcy, and released all former employees from their nondisclosure agreements.

Sitrick and Company issued what would turn out to be one of its final statements to USA Today, for an article on March 22: “Mr. Weinstein categorically denies ever engaging in any non-consensual sexual conduct with anyone.”

Two months later Mr. Weinstein was arrested. His lawyer is Benjamin Brafman, whose clients have included Martin Shkreli, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Vincent Gigante, known as “The Chin.”

Who’s Writing This Story, Anyway?
Mr. Sitrick’s first book, published in 1998, is  called “Spin: How to Turn the Power of the Press to Your Advantage.” He wrote it with Allan Mayer, who was a force behind the entertainment division of Sitrick and Company before he left to help found the public relations firm 42 West.

In Chapter 3, “Inside the Reporter’s Head,” the authors explain that journalists are a peculiar species motivated not by money, but by an odd mix of cynicism and idealism and an egomaniacal drive to “own” a story. The authors also write: “As grubby as they may often seem, journalists are no less susceptible to the American dream than anyone else.”

In Chapter 4, “News Media Abhor a Vacuum,” Mr. Sitrick lays out one of his key tenets: that strategic press representatives must engage the media; “no comment” should never be a first resort. “If you won’t talk to them, they’ll simply find someone else who will,” he and Mr. Mayer write, “which is to say, if you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you.”

In keeping with that rule, Mr. Sitrick quickly agreed to an interview for this article.

Four days after that, as I read Chapter 7 — “Preempt the Situation” — a Google Alert appeared in my inbox, delivering what Deadline Hollywood billed as an exclusive: “Sitrick and Company Resigns Repping Disgraced Mogul Harvey Weinstein.”

The Blast, a celebrity news site and TMZ spinoff, followed a few hours later with an anonymously sourced article stating that Sitrick and Company had filed for arbitration in February, after Mr. Weinstein’s bill went unpaid.

“We’re told,” the article said, in the most passive voice, “that even after legal documents were filed to collect from the disgraced producer, Weinstein and his reps ‘begged’ for the firm to continue working with him. We’re told Sitrick refused.”

Was Mr. Sitrick already starting to write this story?

Spinning Until the End
The Brentwood offices of Sitrick and Company occupy the top floor of a black building on San Vicente. Airy and immaculate, they have the feel of a law firm, but with newsroom touches. Brown leather armchairs are arranged in the reception area, where a cable-news ticker rolls silently across a screen.

Mr. Sitrick’s private office is behind two security doors. There, he sat in yet another leather armchair, next to a large potted plant. Asked question after question about Mr. Weinstein, Mr. Sitrick dodged and dodged. He became a little more forthcoming when the approach took a more general tack.

So, hypothetically speaking, what were reasons he might drop a client?

Mr. Sitrick said he might take that step if the client treated his staff badly. He also said: “I’m not talking about any particular client, but one of the reasons we have resigned cases is people have lied to us or told us information that wasn’t true and we believe they knew it.”

So it went for close to three hours. A large painting hangs above Mr. Sitrick’s desk, depicting a dozen or so people gathered behind a barricade outside the O.J. Simpson trial.

The painting is not a memento. Mr. Simpson is one of few potential clients Mr. Sitrick has publicly acknowledged turning down. (Michael Jackson is another, although Mr. Sitrick has since represented his estate.)

Whatever Mr. Sitrick’s affection for the painting, it loomed on that day as a reminder of the fierce whims of American public opinion — of what we will and won’t forgive, what we will and won’t forget.

In this vein, did Mr. Sitrick think the #MeToo phenomenon had caused a lasting shift in American culture?

To give some historical context: Twenty years ago, for example, in a Los Angeles Times article, Mr. Sitrick was asked to weigh in on the sportscaster Marv Albert, from a crisis-management point of view. (Mr. Albert was not a client.)

“The problem with Marv Albert was not his roughhousing women,” Mr. Sitrick had said at the time. “The problem was the allegation that he was running around in women’s undergarments.”

Today, I pointed out, it may very well be the other way around.

Mr. Sitrick thought for a moment. “I think people are going to realize that they are going to be held accountable for their actions in a way that they weren’t before,” he said.

To be clear, Mr. Sitrick wasn’t referring to Mr. Weinstein.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/01/style/michael-sitrick-harvey-weinstein-crisis-management.html

What I find interesting is that of all the cases mentioned in the article and all the clients Sitrick has offered his P.R. services to, Erin's case was the only one where the client was the alleged victim. In all the other cases his clients were alleged perpetrators; celebrities, powerful people and organizations that were accused of of various things, including domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Another thing that is worth noting is that Erin's financial situation at the time, at least as described in the People Magazine article, probably wouldn't allow her to afford someone like Sitrick. Maybe Stephanie Seymour and husband-to-be had hired him?
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