Celebrity attorney gets involved in flesh eating case

Slain suspect's former girlfriend hires Gloria Allred


MIAMI – One of America's most high-profile attorneys wants in on one of South Florida's most talked-about cases.

Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred came to South Florida from California on Wednesday to discuss the face eating attack on the MacArthur Causeway.

A police officer shot and killed Rudy Eugene, 31, who police said was naked and biting 65-year-old Ronald Poppo's face May 26. Poppo was hospitalized after police said the attack tore out his eye, nose and cheek.

Outside a news conference Wednesday, Yovonka Bryant could be seen being coached, but it clearly was not part of the script. And yes, there was a script, and the cameras and the recorders that dutifully come when Los Angeles-based, cable-saturating attorney Allred calls. She signed on Bryant, one of the girlfriends of Eugene, whose naked, frenzied, cannibalistic attack made international headlines.

"Yovonka originally planned to maintain her privacy," Allred said.

Actually, Bryant called news outlets last week, after another girlfriend of Eugene, a woman who did not want to be identified, whom Eugene had left at home on the morning of the attack, spoke to reporters.

"She will not be answering questions," Allred said at the news conference.

At that, reporters wondered why they were called.

"Clearly, Yovonka had nothing to do with what happened two weekends ago. Can you help us find the news value, then, in her press conference today?" Local 10's Glenna Milberg asked Allred.

"Well, it's up to you to decide whether there's news value in her discussion about who Rudy Eugene was," Allred said.

The public already knew that Eugene was a sports fan and aspiring business owner who was trying to stop smoking pot and who read the Bible.

The other girlfriend, the one who did not wish to be identified, already told reporters that.

"Yovonka and I are very concerned about the issue of cannibalism," Allred said.

"Ms. Allred, you said she was not going to file a lawsuit of any sort?" Milberg asked.

"That's correct," Allred said.

"I wonder why she would then hire a lawyer to represent her?" Milberg asked.

"I thought that I covered that a couple of times; however, I'm happy to cover it again," Allred said.