Since news reports surfaced that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain had been accused of sexually harassing female employees at the National Restaurant Association when he headed the organization, he gone from a series of inconsistent recollections to refusing to comment on the matter. But after a fourth accuser came forward Monday, Cain held a press conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday evening to address the matter head-on. And, as he has in the past, Cain denied ever behaving inappropriately with anyone.
Before Cain uttered a word, his attorney spoke first, describing his extensive experience dealing with cases involving accusations of sexual harassment but said those cases were dealt with in courts of law rather than than court of public opinion where his client his now being forced to defend his reputation.
“With respect to the most recent accusation, I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period. I saw Ms. Allred and her client yesterday in that news conference for the very first time,” Cain said. “As I sat in my hotel room with a couple of my staff members, as they got to the microphone my first response in my mind and reaction was I don’t even know who this woman is. Secondly I didn’t recognize the name at all.”
He also said that the events Bialek described “simply did not happen” and some people may think that the scandal is going to deter him from running for president but “it ain’t gonna happen.”
In an earlier interview with ABC News and Yahoo, Cain also denied ever meeting Sharon Bialek, and said that when he saw her news conference, “I didn’t even recognize her." In addition, one of the women who received a settlement from the restaurant association has been identified as Karen Kraushaar, a spokesperson for the Inspector General at the Internal Revenue Service. A friend of hers told CNN that Kraushaar is not ready to go public but may in the future consider holding a press conference with other women who also allege that Cain harassed them.
Rival Mitt Romney also addressed the allegations in an interview with ABC News and Yahoo!, and while he would not say whether Cain should be “disqualified” from the Republican nominating race should the accusations be proven to be true, he did describe Bialek’s allegations as “particularly disturbing.
(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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