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Whitman Housekeeper Puts Self Back in the Spotlight

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Whitman Housekeeper Puts Self Back in the Spotlight

AP

Nicky Diaz, left, former housekeeper for California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, talks to reporters with attorney Gloria Allred in Los Angeles Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. Diaz alleges that Whitman was notified seven years ago that the worker might be in the country illegally, but did nothing about it. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

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Santillan: "I'm Not Anyone's Puppet"

At a news conference, Nicky Diaz Santillan says she's "not anyone's puppet."

Allred: Nicky Did Not Expect a Kick to the Curb

Attorney Gloria Allred speaks on behalf of her client and former housekeeper for Meg Whitman, Nicky Diaz Santillan.
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Gloria Allred had even more to say about gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman on Tuesday.

The Hollywood lawyer held a third news conference with Whitman's former housekeeper by her side at 11 a.m.

The latest showdown with Nicky Diaz Santillan was in response to Whitman's claim that the former housekeeper was being manipulated by Allred and that she was a pawn by Democratic candidate Jerry Brown.  All of those charges were denied.

If you haven't heard the story, Santillan worked for Whitman for nearly a decade as her housekeeper in Atherton. Whitman said she let Santaillan go after she said she learned she was in the country illegally. Whitman says she considered Santaillan a member of her family and was heartbroken to have to let her go.

On Tuesday Santillan rejected Whitman's family claim: "Ms. Whitman, don't say I was part of your family, because you never  treated me like I was."

She also said she was speaking out for herself and was not being manipulated by Allred or Brown for political gain.

Allred deflected questions about how she came to represent Santillan and whether there was any connection with the Brown campaign.

"All I can tell you is I have a client, I'm speaking out on behalf of  Nicky," Allred said. "Nicky has spoken out on behalf of herself. It is insulting to Nicky to suggest that she is, in Nicky's words, anybody's puppet."

Whitman's Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jerry Brown, stayed quiet on the issue last week, but criticized Whitman for failing to help the housekeeper during a debate this weekend.

Whitman fought back by accusing Brown of orchestrating the scandal.  To that Brown fired back: "Don't run for governor if you can't stand up on your own two feet and say, 'Hey I made a mistake.'" Then he turned away from the audience and faced her directly. "You have blamed her, blamed me, blamed the left, blamed the unions. But you don't take accountability.'"

Santillan has filed a claim with state regulators saying Whitman owes her $6,200 for time she worked or as reimbursement for mileage while running errands.

Whitman spokesman Andrea Jones Rivera said in a statement: "It's time for Gloria Allred to pack-up this circus and leave town." Brown's campaign did not comment on the news conference Tuesday.

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