3TV Exclusive: Erin Brockovich talks about her new causesPosted: Updated:
TUCSON - Erin Brockovich took on the big boys and won the largest legal settlement in United States history.
Her story was made into a hit movie and since it was released her life has not slowed down. Brockovich sat down with 3TV to talk about issues close to her heart, the upcoming presidential election and why people should care.
She said, "Before I get started I've got to do one thing. I have to set the record straight, ladies and gentleman, I'm not Julia Roberts."
The movie Erin Brockovich was based on her real life investigation and legal triumph with lawyer Ed Masery that turned into the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind. More than 600 people living in Hinkley, California were exposed to a deadly toxic waste being dumped in the area by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
She admits, "It's been 8 years and I realize in hindsight it's a great thing. The film ended, the audience cheered, Julia won an Oscar and through it all, I'm still me. 3TV caught up with Brockovich in Tucson. She was the keynote speaker at the 6th annual Arizona Women's Conference. "I will still tell you that I am absolutely an un-environmentalist, but my real goal is public awarenessenough of it isn't going on and in the absence of information, we can't protect ourselves."
She is the president of Brockovich Research and Consulting and is currently working on several environmental cases. "Anytime I come into communities that have been impacted, you never see greed with them. You never see that this is about money. They don't really get into those arguments. It's really about righting a wrong, this is really about principles. This is about public health and safety and the value of life."
Besides environmental causes, she has now turned her sights on the medical community and is speaking out about the new Gardasil vaccine, a shot that may help prevent HPV, which can cause cervical cancer. "If I'm a mother and I'm taking my 15-year-old and my doctor is telling me that there's been reports of death, reports of paralysis, reports of disease Gillian Bar Syndrome, grand mal seizures and we don't necessarily have all of the reports on what the shot is or isn't going to do, I'm sorry I'm not giving it to my daughter. There's too much uncertainty."
Brockovich believes all of us have a choice when it comes to speaking out against an injustice and she says the willingness to stand by your beliefs is something she admirers in the candidates running for the nation's highest office.
Nevertheless, no matter whether she is speaking up about a cause, writing a book or giving a motivational lecture, Brockovich herself still has the drive to keep fighting. "As I watched my mom die in my arms and I looked at everything she had ever worked for and what was most important that she left behind and it was her words and that wisdom of "stick-to-it-tive-ness" and the battle and the courage that's all we've got and we should make a fight for that while we're here.
On a side note, of course Julia Roberts made the role of Erin Brockovich famous, but it turns out Erin herself had another actress in mind before the part was cast and that actress was Goldie Hawn.
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