November 7th, 2011
02:15 PM ET
2 years ago

Cain accuser says candidate groped her in 1997

(CNN) - A woman who claimed Herman Cain sexually assaulted her in 1997 said Monday she hoped the Republican presidential candidate would come clean about other allegations of sexual misconduct.

Sharon Bialek said Cain reached under her skirt and pressed her head toward his crotch when Bialek was visiting Cain in Washington to get job hunting advice after she had been "terminated" from the National Restaurant Association.

MORE: Cain faces new claim of sexual misconduct

Bialek said that when she protested, Cain asked, "You want a job, right?"

Bialek worked at the educational foundation of the National Restaurant Association beginning from 1996 to 1997, when she said her superiors released her from her position, citing poor fundraising numbers.

Bialek said she was already acquainted with Cain after meeting him at NRA conferences, and visited him in Washington in July 1997 to see if he could help her regain her position or find another position within the organization.

When Bialek and Cain were returning from dinner, Bialek said Cain made inappropriate advances in a parked car.

"He put his hand on my leg, under my skirt, and reached for my genitals," Bialek said. "He also grabbed my head and pushed it toward his crotch."

Cain's campaign denied Bialek's allegations in a statement before the press conference began.

"Just as the country finally begins to refocus on our crippling $15 trillion national debt and the unacceptably high unemployment rate, now activist celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of Republican front-runner Herman Cain," the statement read.

"All allegations of harassment 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."

Cain is entering his second week of battling reports he sexually harassed women while heading the NRA in the 1990s. Last week, the lawyer for one woman who reportedly settled with the association over harassment allegations said his client would not reveal her name or any details about her claim.

Various media outlets reported there were two more women who made allegations against Cain and subsequently received financial settlements.

Cain said Saturday he was finished answering questions about the sexual harassment claims, telling reporters in Texas he was focused on getting his campaign "on message."

"Read all of the other accounts, where everything has been answered - end of story," Cain said.

–CNN's Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Lisa P

    "All allegations of harassment 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."

    Plans for energy independence? I know that the 9-9-9 is just a load of rewarmed downward tax-shifting hokum, and that Mr. Cain himself proudly flouts his ignorance of foreign policy, but I haven't heard anything about his "plan for energy independence" yet. Is he pushing anything but the permanent slavery to oil companies and coal producers that the rest of the GOP field keeps on promising?

    Oh, yeah - and he and his staff need to quit lying about the sexual harassment charges. Just 'fess up, blame the foolishness of youth, talk about how and why you've changed (great moment to score with the religious types here!) and move on.

    More advice and consideration than this clown of a candidate deserves. At least Pat Paulson never pretended he was anything but a comedian. Also I never heard that he groped anyone who wasn't already interested in being groped.

    November 7, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. A MN

    This is to funny you liberals here are saying that he is going to play the race card, that is the only card you libs were using when Oboma was running, claiming all repubs were racist, hypocrites

    November 7, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  3. k dogg

    Cain's goose is cooked but he wasn't going the win the nomination anyway be cause the real american people in the real whole usa not the divided tea party usa are sick and tired of the nonsense and dumb canidates repersenting the koch brothers teapublicans that's why you can count on obama win in 2012

    November 7, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    @ GSMITH......

    she may have been hired but it WASN'T by Democrats. Dems WANT Cain to run against Obama..that would be a dream come true. Face it...if somebody put her up to this it was a REPUBLICAN..the ones that are most threaten by Cain. Talk to the likes of Karl Rove or Grover Norquist. I am not shocked that you are living in denial..mosr far right wingers are.

    November 7, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Daniel

    how stupid are you people? think about it they said he didnt do it BEFORE she even said what IT was LOL ...oh and lets smoke screen it all with talk of what Obama is doing wrong...what a load of George Bush!! ...cause I know if it were me and I was falsely accused of anything I would just pay them off right? hahahahahaha now thats entertainment!

    November 7, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Guess we all know what kind of "job" HE HAD IN MIND. What a filthy letch.

    November 7, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Senor Ed

    It looks like Herman was just trying to be one of those rich "job creators".

    November 7, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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