The sexual harassment allegations are starting to impact Cain’s poll numbers.
Victor Zuckerman, the ex-boyfriend of one of Herman Cain’s accusers, recalled at a news conference Monday afternoon that Sharon Bialek had told him that Cain “touched her in an inappropriate manner” when she met with him in Washington in 1997 to seek his aid in finding a new job. Zuckerman also said that he is the one who encouraged Bialek to go public because Cain is running for “the most powerful position in the world.”
“She was upset,” said Zuckerman, who appeared at the news conference with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing Bialek. “She said that something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner. She said that she had handled it and didn’t want to talk about it any more.”
Zuckerman, who is a pediatrician and a registered Republican, also refuted Cain’s claims that he has never met Bialek before and said that he, too, met and spoke with Cain at a party that took place after a conference before the alleged incident took place.
“He had told me about his new gospel album,” Zuckerman said. “I remember how impressed I was.”
In addition, Cain and Bialek were observed speaking to each other at a Tea Party event in October, before she went public with the allegations, CNN reports.
According to a new CNN/ORC International poll of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP, released Monday, Cain was named the favored candidate by just 14 percent, down 11 points since October. Mitt Romney led with 24 percent of those polled.
"Cain is struggling with the charges of sexual harassment, and while most Republicans tend to dismiss those charges, roughly four in 10 Republicans think this is a serious matter and tend to believe the women who made those charges," said CNN polling director Keating Holland.
(Photo: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)