One of the two women at the center of the sexual harassment scandal swirling around Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain received $35,000 in severance from the National Restaurant Association, which he served as chief executive in the 1990s, after alleging that Cain had made her uncomfortable working there, people familiar with the matter have told The New York Times. The amount represented a year’s salary and refutes the candidate’s latest “recollection” that there was a payout of two or three months’ salary.
Washington attorney Joel P. Bennett, who represented Cain’s accuser in the case, is calling on the restaurant association to release his client from the confidentiality agreement that was part of the settlement so that she can publicly dispute Cain’s claims about his treatment of her and other women at the trade group.
“He’s basically saying: ‘I never harassed anyone. These claims have no merit,’ ” Bennett told the publication Tuesday. “And I’m sure my client would have a comeback to that.”
Bennett also said that by speaking about the matter, Cain has essentially broken the nondisclosure agreement. When asked on Fox News Tuesday night whether he would ask the association to allow the woman to tell her side, he said he would have to speak with his attorneys before making such a decision because there could be “legal implications.”
Sources told The Times that there were other workplace issues that made the woman unhappy at the association, but the alleged encounter with Cain was the tipping point and contributed to the size of her severance package.
Meanwhile, Politico, which broke the sexual harassment story, Gloria Cain, the candidate’s wife who has largely remained in the background, is reporting that she may participate in an interview on Fox News at the end of the week, making her national political debut during a very awkward period on the campaign trail.
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