Attorney Martin Singer is infuriated by the frenzy stirred up by media moguls regarding rape accusations against his client Bill Cosby. Media outlets across the nation have been vehemently attacking Cosby’s character after a growing number of women have finally decided to step forward, decades later, to accuse him of rape. Singer believes the five-time Emmy-achiever and comedy icon is the victim of a ferocious “media-driven feeding frenzy.”
Upon first glance, Singer looks like a guy who might be best suited to an occasional fill-in spot for game show host Drew Carey on The Price is Right. Unsuspecting and nonthreatening in appearance, Singer is a stocky, bespectacled 59-year-old entertainment litigator who has been practicing law for several decades and whose legal career started by acting on instructions written in pair of fortune cookies.
The throaty, full faced attorney with the playful smile refused a career in medicine because, as he puts it, “I’m a very emotional person and will cry.” Singer never imagined he would eventually become legal guardian of celebrity superstars. Raised in Canarsie, Brooklyn, Singer’s mother, Sari, survived Auschwitz in Nazi Germany. His late father, Gyula, left Nazi-occupied Austria during his adolescence to spend time during World War II teaching his favorite sport, soccer, to American soldiers on furlough in Shanghai.
After graduating from the City College of New York with a degree in political science, Singer went on to Brooklyn Law School. His wife, Deena, a legal secretary, was the essential provider during the time Singer spent in law school. Upon graduation in 1977, he and his wife relocated to Southern California where Deena’s career took off quickly after landing a position as a legal secretary with a successful courtroom lawyer.
Breaks began to happen for Singer when he was brought aboard to do research for a law firm that was well known for its negotiation strategies. He learned much about the world of entertainment law during his brief opportunities to practice litigation. He enjoyed working at the firm, until its doors closed in 1980. During the interim that he was not practicing law, Singer finally decided to pair up with colleague and fellow entertainment lawyer, Mr. Lavely, eight years his senior, and together they started their own firm.
Singer and Lavely’s big break occurred in 1983. Lawrence Gordon, one of the entertainment industry’s most successful and prolific producers, hired Singer to represent him against Paramount Pictures after the industry giant unlawfully locked Gordon from his office. Untested, but with the instincts of a rising bull-dog, Singer won a restraining order against Paramount that temporarily got the client back into his office.
According to Sly Stallone, Singer is a warm and fuzzy guy, but he quickly transforms into a ferocious and fearless attorney when hired by disgruntled entertainers, executives or politicians seeking justice. Singer and his team of 15 attorneys have become Tinseltown’s front-most guardians and have represented a number of A-list celebrities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Charlie Sheen, Senator Harry Reid, John Travolta and Quentin Tarantino. The most recent A-lister to hire Singer is Cosby, who is the latest household name to find himself under a deep sea of rape accusations.
“If you [go] rattling his cage, you are [definitely] in for a fight,” adds Stallone. Apparently, nothing rattles Singer’s cage more than the current media-driven feeding frenzy that is ferociously tarnishing Cosby’s character one rape story at a time. Singer attacks when a whiff of defamation is present and in the case of Cosby, there is a big whiff present. Defamation cases are not very lucrative or pretty, asserts Singer, but similar to Olivia Pope in Scandal, Singer is a formidable opponent against media shenanigans and a “fixer” of defiled celebrity reputations. Damage control is the name of the game moving forward for Cosby.
Attorney Singer also acknowledges that defamation suits are difficult to win, and rarely offer substantial payout in comparison to the overall sacrifice. Therefore, his aim is curtailment. “[The] goal is to try to kill the story…” says Mr. Singer, who will warn reporters against the consequences of falsehood, threaten or, if he must, trade off critical information to confine ongoing damage. Singer proposes, “…[ferocious] attacks on Mr. Cosby [have] entered the realm of the ridiculous, with a purported forceful kiss…in 1967, nearly 50 years ago, being treated as a current news story and grossly mischaracterized as sexual assault…[this]is utter nonsense.”
By D’wayne Stanelli