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Charlotte Laws
Laws in June 2010
Member of the Greater Valley Glen Council
In office
2004–2012
Succeeded byRachel Friedman
Personal details
Born
Charlotte Anne Laws

(1960-05-11) May 11, 1960 (age 63)
Atlanta, Georgia, US
Political partyIndependent
SpouseCharles Parselle
Children1
ResidenceLos Angeles
Websitecharlottelaws.com

Charlotte Anne Laws, also known by her stage name Missy Laws (born May 11, 1960), is an American author, talk show host, animal rights advocate, anti-revenge porn activist, former politician, and actress.[1] Laws is a former BBC News contributor and was a weekly commentator on KNBC-TV's The Filter with Fred Roggin[2] from 2009 to 2013. She also co-hosted the Internet show,' Every Way Woman (2008–2013) [3] and hosted a local television show called "Uncommon Sense" from October 2007 to September 2010.

Laws is a former member of the Greater Valley Glen Council in the neighborhood of Valley Glen, Los Angeles, California.[4][5] She was termed out of office in 2012, after serving four two-year terms.[6] In May 2006, Laws was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve on the city's 912 Commission, also known as the Neighborhood Council Review Commission.[7][8]

Laws is the founder and president of two organizations: the Directors of Animal Welfare (DAW)[9][10] and the League for Earth and Animal Protection (LEAP).[11] In 2006, Laws was the recipient of the Los Angeles Animal Humanitarian Award. Laws is a vegan and an advocate of the vegan diet.[12]

Biography

Acting and writing career

Laws during a television interview in June 2009.

Laws studied acting at the Academy Theatre of Atlanta, Joe Bernard's Acting Studio in Las Vegas and the Estelle Harman Actors Workshop in Los Angeles. She worked as a model and actress in movies and television until her late 20s. She has performed as a stand-up comic at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles.

In 1988, Laws authored the book Meet the Stars, which details how the average person can succeed in the entertainment industry. She promoted the book on Larry King Live, Oprah Winfrey, The Late Show.[citation needed][13]

From 1997 to 2000, Laws wrote for the British magazine Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Her articles on the news, current events, philosophy and social issues have been published in the Los Angeles Daily News, E the Environmental Magazine, Philosophy Now,[14]The Huffington Post,[15] Opinion Editorials, Los Angeles Times, Jezebel, Gawker, Newsweek, Salon, the New York Daily News,[16] and The Washington Post.

On April 11, 2015, Laws' memoir titled Rebel in High Heels was released. The book details her fight against revenge porn and the first 22 years of her life. Her book Devil in the Basement was released on March 14, 2018. This nonfiction novel is about Laws' grandfather, who devil worshipper Ernie Yost murdered in 1948.[17] The book also spotlights the rampant prejudice directed at Italian-Americans in the early twentieth century[18] and delves into the real-life romance between Laws’ great aunt Rose and Vito Giacalone, a former Detroit mobster and the prime suspect in the death of labor union leader, Jimmy Hoffa.[19][20]

On August 15, 2019, Laws's second memoir, "Undercover Debutante: The Search for My Birth Parents and a Bald Husband," was published.[21] The book won a Publishers Weekly book award and covers Laws' life from age 22 until 39. The book explains how the author tracked down her birth family and found a husband after a number of disastrous boyfriends. It also includes some of the author's celebrity escapades.[22]

Laws plays Human #46 on the 2020 Netflix series 100 Humans[23] and stars in the Netflix documentary The Most Hated Man on the Internet[24]

Activism against revenge porn

In January 2012, after an unreleased topless photo of Laws' daughter, Kayla, was posted on the revenge porn website Is Anyone Up?, Laws began an investigation of Hunter Moore, who ran the site. She contacted the FBI who launched their own investigation of Moore and his website.[25] Laws determined a large number of the photos on the site had been hacked. She contacted dozens of victims and became known as the "Erin Brockovich of revenge porn."[26][27] Laws detailed her revenge porn battle in an article published on Jezebel.[28] Her experiences were further detailed in her book, Rebel in High Heels, which was released in April 2015.[29]

Moore removed his website in the midst of the FBI investigation, but announced on November 28, 2012, that he would start a new site that would include address information. This prompted Laws to make Moore's home address public on Twitter[30] and Moore threatened to ruin her life. She soon received death threats, computer viruses, and a stalker appeared at her home.[31] Internet hackers professing to be affiliated with Anonymous came to her aid, hacking into his servers and posting his personal information on the Internet.[32] The FBI arrested Hunter Moore and his hacker, Charles Evens of Studio City, California, who went under the alias of "Gary Jones", on January 23, 2014. On February 18, 2015, it was announced that Moore would plead guilty to federal computer hacking and identity theft charges. He faced up to 7 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. He received two and a half years in federal prison.[33] With no plea deal in place and facing 42 years in prison, Moore's hacker, Charlie Evens, confessed his crimes to CNN on tape at Laws' house during an interview that CNN was filming with Laws. The taped confession aired on April 27, 2015.[34] Evens received 26 months in federal prison.[35]

On June 4, 2013, Laws gave testimony before the California State Senate in favor of SB 255, a law designed to protect victims from revenge porn or "cyber rape," a term Laws coined. The bill was sponsored by State Senator Anthony Cannella of Modesto, CA[36] and was signed into law on October 1, 2013, making California the second state to pass a law designed to help victims of non-consensual pornography. Until 2018, Laws was a board member of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI),[37][38] an organization dedicated to helping victims of online harassment.[39] Since 2012, Laws has been meeting with state and federal legislators, urging them to pass laws to protect victims.

In 2017, Speier and several other legislators, introduced the Ending Non-consensual Online User Graphic Harassment (ENOUGH) Act.,[40] A federal bill called The SHIELD Act (Stopping Harmful Image Exploitation and Limiting Distribution) was later introduced in 2019.[41] In 2022 the PROTECT Act was introduced.[42] In addition to pushing for a federal anti-revenge porn law, Laws has recently[when?] been tackling the problem of deep fake pornography and sextortion.[43][44] She claims to have assisted over 800 victims of non-consensual pornography, morphed porn (or deep fakes), and sextortion since the inception of her activism in 2012.[45][44] [46]

Laws stars in the Netflix docuseries, The Most Hated Man on the Internet, produced by Raw TV. It began streaming on July 27, 2022.[47]

Laws has discussed her battle against revenge porn on various television shows and podcasts including Tamron Hall,[48] The Adam Carolla Show,[49] Ask Dr. Drew,[50] Good Day LA,[51] Inside Edition,[52] Access Hollywood,[53] Banfield,[54] Lorraine[55] and News Desk with Tom Newton Dunn.[56] Laws has made presentations on the issue at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,[57] the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh[58] and to lawyers affiliated with the office of the United States Attorney.[59]

Political Advocacy for Animals

Laws, a passionate advocate for animal rights, ventured into local politics to represent nonhuman animals. In her 2004 campaign for a seat on the Greater Valley Glen Neighborhood Council, she pledged to represent both human and nonhuman constituents. After her election, a new role called the Director of Animal Welfare (DAW) was created based on her recommendation.[60]

The city government later endorsed the DAW program, spreading to approximately fifty neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Most DAWs are appointed by neighborhood councils, but the program's bylaws also allow for DAW general membership to make appointments.[60]

Laws describes the DAW program as an effort to increase the representation of animals in policy making. She elaborated, "The DAWS provide a voice and a form of political representation for nonhuman animals." This initiative is part of a broader international trend towards institutionalizing the political representation of animals and aims to expand the definition of the political community.[60]

Political commentator

Charlotte Laws is a political analyst and has worked as a BBC News contributor since 2015.[61][62][63][64] She has also made appearances on the Al Jazeera network,[65][66] and participated in a Reddit AMA in September 2015 with Rick Wilson.[67] Laws was the first person[citation needed] to publicly discuss “hidden Trump supporters” and to call Trump a feminist and a pacifist.[68] Some of her controversial articles about Trump and politics have appeared in The Huffington Post[69][70][71] and The Daily Caller. In 2019, she stated she was supporting Cory Booker and Tulsi Gabbard for the 2020 election.[72]

Bill Cosby scandal

Main article: Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations

On November 30, 2014, Laws spoke out about her "34-year-old Bill Cosby secret." In a Salon article,[73] she detailed her experiences with Cosby and a friend she calls "Sandy". Laws claims that "Sandy" was already in a long term sexual relationship with Cosby before he drugged "Sandy" in 1981 before they had sex. Laws was interviewed on the Dr. Drew On Call in December 2014 about this issue,[74] suggesting a few days later, in a Fox News interview, that Cosby has somnophilia.[75]

Gay rights activism

In March 2015, Laws came to defend the LGBTQ communities when a Southern California attorney proposed a statewide ballot initiative that permitted the execution of gays by "bullets to the head or any other convenient method."[76] The initiative was called the Sodomite Suppression Act. In response to what was seen as a vicious and repugnant attack on LGBTQ people, Laws registered a rebuttal initiative with the Attorney General's office, titled "The Intolerant Jackass Act". Laws’ proposal called for sensitivity training and a steep fine for anyone submitting a state initiative related to the killing of gays.[77] In June 2015, the initiative was cleared to move forward, but Laws said that she did not plan to gather signatures, adding "I'm glad my proposal made an impact. My intent was to send a message and support gay rights. [The proposal] has served its purpose."[78]

Personal life

Charlotte Laws in 2022 just prior to taping the Bill Schulz Mornin' Show

Laws, a former Atlanta debutante,[79] was adopted at birth. Her adoptive father was abusive, her adoptive mother committed suicide and her little brother died in a car accident.[80] She tracked down her birthparents in her late twenties.[81][82] Laws has said that she has never had a glass of alcohol or tried illegal drugs or a cigarette.[83]

After graduating from high school at The Lovett School in Atlanta Georgia [84] Laws attended the University of Florida and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.[85] She moved to Los Angeles and completed two bachelor's degrees at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She earned two master's degrees and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. She completed post-doctoral coursework at Oxford University, England. [86]

Prior to acting and writing, Laws was employed in a number of other jobs. She was a cab driver, private investigator, bodyguard, backup singer for an Elvis impersonator, nurse, fashion designer, aerobics instructor, antiques shop owner, and president of a legal corporation. Laws was a lecturer for the FBI in Quantico, Virginia in 2006[87] and has also been a licensed realtor since 1987.[88]

In April 2015, Laws went public about her three-year romance with singer Tom Jones in her memoir, Rebel in High Heels. She says he was her first boyfriend and that she dated him from age 18 until age 21.[89] She married English barrister and California attorney Charles Parselle in the 1990s and has a daughter named Kayla Laws, who is an actress.[90] She calls herself a Jewish Jain.[91] Laws’ father-in-law, Thomas Parselle, was captured by the Nazis during World War II, transported to a German POW camp and witness to the notorious break-out attempt as depicted in the movie, The Great Escape.[92]

In 2012, Laws' chicken, Mae Poulet, was a write-in vice presidential candidate. A dog selected her from Tennessee to be his running mate on the Bully ticket.[93] Mae Poulet was also involved in a 2011 fundraiser with actress Natalie Portman and actor Jason Alexander to raise money for poultry in need.[91] In March 2013, Mae Poulet was inducted into the National Museum of Animals and Society.

Laws' grandfather, Tucker Moroose (a lawyer and aspiring U.S. Senator), was murdered by a devil worshipper in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1948. The story is detailed in Laws' book, Devil in the Basement.[94][95]

In July 2019, Laws admitted in an article that she committed a crime which may have violated the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act when she conspired to rescue pigeons.[96]

Selected publications

See also

References

  1. ^ Missy Laws at IMDb. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Filter". KNBC. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Mills, Michelle J. (November 28, 2012). "'Every Way Woman' offers smart talk for everyday women". Pasadena Star-News. Archived from the original on December 4, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  4. ^ Kerry Cavanaugh, "Mayor revives drive for affordable housing," Los Angeles Daily News, October 17, 2007
  5. ^ "Official Website Of Charlotte Laws". Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  6. ^ "My Vegan Life:Charlotte Laws". Vegan Food and Living. March 23, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  7. ^ "Laws Appointed to the 912 Commission" Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Studio City Sun, June 30, 2006, p. 5.
  8. ^ "NCRC - Neighborhood Council Review Commission". Done.lacity.org. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  9. ^ Fleck, Denise. "Directors of Animal Welfare: Helping Los Angeles Communities and the Animals that Inhabit them". petpages.com. Archived from the original on November 26, 2006.
  10. ^ Smith, Kimberly K. "Governing Animals: Animal Welfare and the Liberal State." Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. pp. 109-118.
  11. ^ "Bios of 2007 Speakers". Animal Rights National Conference. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  12. ^ Religion vs. the Sprinkler Police, retrieved March 5, 2011
  13. ^ "Atlanta Native Charlotte Laws Takes Down 'The Most Hated Man on the Internet' in Netflix Doc". Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  14. ^ "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?". Retrieved May 30, 2008.
  15. ^ "Charlotte Laws". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  16. ^ "Landlords are people too". NYDailyNews.com. October 7, 2020. Retrieved October 10, 2020.
  17. ^ "Ernie Yost – One of the First Documented Satanists in the U.S." ernieyost.com.
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  62. ^ "Hillary Clinton far more likely to start a war than 'pacifist' Donald Trump". Express. October 28, 2016.
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  65. ^ "The Trump phenomenon". AlJazeera. September 15, 2015.
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  67. ^ "We are Dr. Charlotte Laws (TV pundit and Trump supporter) and Rick Wilson (GOP media strategist and Trump critic). Ask us anything about Donald Trump and his candidacy for President. We won't hold back. • r/IAmA". reddit. September 8, 2015. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022.
  68. ^ "5 Accidentally Feminist Donald Trump Quotes That You Might Just Agree With". Bustle. March 1, 2016.
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  70. ^ Laws, Charlotte (November 4, 2016). "Donald Trump, Culture And The Big Bad Wolf Of A Kiss". HuffPost.
  71. ^ Laws, Charlotte (March 10, 2016). "Don't Be Fooled: Presidential Candidates Need Racist Votes". HuffPost.
  72. ^ "@charlottelaws (June 29, 2019) "Gabbard / Booker for 2020" (Tweet) – via Twitter".
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  88. ^ "From Persian Folly to boring boxes". The Economist. Vol. 382. March 22, 2007.
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  92. ^ "Tabs Parselle: Captured by Nazis, Witness To The Great Escape". Head Stuff. June 21, 2019. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
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  96. ^ "I Committed a Crime - The Government Calls It Terrorism". CityWatch. July 18, 2019.