“Mr. Limbaugh targeted his attack on a young law student who was simply exercised her free speech and her right to testify before congress on a very important issue to millions of American women and he vilified her. He defamed her and engaged in unwarranted, tasteless and exceptionally damaging attacks on her,” Allred told POLITICO Friday afternoon. “He needs to face the consequences of his conduct in every way that is meaningful.”
In a letter dated March 8, Allred, writing on behalf of the Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund, requested that Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe probe whether the conservative radio personality had violated Section 836.04 of the Florida Statutes by calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke the two derogatory words.
The statute stipulates that anyone who “speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity” is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. Allred explained that the statute recently came to her attention as having never been repealed, and that it could very well apply to Limbaugh’s remarks as his show is broadcast from West Palm Beach.
It is now entirely up to the prosecutor to exercise his discretion on whether there will be a prosecution. McAuliffe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Allred, whose most recent high-profile clients have included Sharon Bialek, who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment, and porn star Ginger Lee, who exchanged explicit emails with former Rep. Anthony Weiner, said Friday that she has not yet been in touch with Fluke.
“I don’t reach out to women, they reach rout to me,” she said. “If she did reach out to me, obviously I would respond.”
Limbaugh’s contentious remarks, made against Fluke for testifying on Capitol Hill about women’s access to contraception, resulted in widespread public outrage and dozens of advertisers pulling their commercials from his three-hour program.
“I understand why sponsors are abandoning Mr. Limbaugh in droves,” Allred said. “I think sponsors that remain with him are supporting him and providing commercial dollars to him and his program, condoning what he said.”
She added, “Hitting him economically is one price that he has to pay. He needs to be accountable in every way possible.”