A fourth woman came forward Monday to accuse GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexually harassing her when he headed the National Restaurant Association more than a decade ago. But the difference between Sharon Bialek and Cains’s other three accusers is that she made a very public and graphic statement at a press conference in New York City, with the high-profile attorney Gloria Allred at her side.
Herman Cain immediately issued a statement denying the claims.
Bialek, who worked at the trade group’s educational foundation, sought Cain’s help in 1997 to find a new job. After offering to help her find a position with one of the state restaurant associations, she said, Cain reached over and inappropriately touched her. When she resisted, she says, Cain responded by saying, “You want a job, don’t you?”
Bialek also said that she told her boyfriend and a mentor that Cain had behaved inappropriately but was too embarrassed to share the details. But she felt compelled to come forward after news of other complaints surfaced last week to give a face to the allegations.
“I really didn’t want to be here today,” she said. “I want you, Mr. Cain to come clean. Just admit what you did. Admit you were inappropriate to people and then move forward.”
But Cain continues to insist that he’s done nothing wrong. Immediately after the press conference, his campaign issued a statement denying Bialek’s claims, placing some of the blame on Allred.
“Just as the country finally begins to refocus on our crippling $15 trillion national debt and the unacceptably high unemployment rate, now activist-celebrity Gloria Allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of Republican front-runner Herman Cain,” the statement read. “All allegations against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone. Fortunately the American people will not allow Mr. Cain’s bold 9-9-9 plan, clear foreign policy vision and plans for energy independence to be overshadowed by these bogus attacks.”
(Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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