Eva Vachal, who worked as the corporate receptionist at Godfather’s Pizza when GOP candidate Herman Cain became president of the company, has come forward to publically defend her former boss against the sexual harassment claims that have been made against him and threaten to derail his campaign. In an interview with National Review Online, Vachal said that during the 10 years they both worked together, nothing inappropriate or improper ever occurred and that if it had, she would know.
“Believe me, receptionists know everything. They see everything,” she said.
Vachal said that she formed close relationships with the other young women in the office, including assistants to Cain and other top executives, and they frequently discussed their bosses over lunch, including the chief executive. Not once, she added, did anyone “raise an eyebrow about Cain’s conduct.”
The former receptionist said that she was “shocked” when she heard about the sexual harassment allegations made against Cain during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association that have roiled his campaign and raised questions about whether he’s fit to serve in the nation’s highest office. Vachal told NRO that she decided to speak out because she doesn’t believe the claims and wants to help voters understand what he’s really like. She also said that she hasn’t communicated with Cain or anyone in his campaign.
According to Vachal, Cain liked to tease and, like her, was a bit of a “rascal,” so the women who received settlements may have misinterpreted him.
“Once in a while, he would tell me how attractive I looked in my pantsuit, or whatever, but I liked it,” she said. “I get it. I understand teasing. I don’t mind compliments."
Vachal, who was married and had young children at the time, said that Cain tried to “boost” the confidence of both male and female employees.
As for Sharon Bialek, the one woman to speak publically who claims Cain groped her, Vachal says there is “no friggin’ way” that happened and that she would “bet her bottom dollar” that Bialek’s allegations are untrue.
Reiterating her belief in Cain, she suggested not all of the male executives were as gentlemanly.
“Women, especially then, had a lot to deal with in corporate America,” she said. “I knew of other things that went on, but there was never anything with him.”
A CNN/ORC International poll released Nov. 14 showed that Cain has dropped 11 points among Republicans, from 25 percent in October to 14 percent. It is not clear, however, whether the dip is due more to the sexual harassment claims or recent foreign policy gaffes.
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