Herman Cain accuser identified
Karen Kraushaar is pictured in 2000.
November 8th, 2011
03:48 PM ET
2 years ago

Herman Cain accuser identified

Washington (CNN) - One of the women who claims she was sexually harassed while she worked at the National Restaurant Association while Herman Cain headed the organization stepped forward publicly Tuesday.

Karen Kraushaar confirmed she was the accuser in interviews with The Washington Post and New York Times after her name was first published in several media stories. The name was initially reported by online news source The Daily and then Kraushaar confirmed it to National Public Radio.

Kraushaar is a director of communications at a bureau within the Treasury Department.

"When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you are extremely vulnerable," Kraushaar told the New York Times. "You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself into a job some place safe and that is what I thought I had achieved when I left."

She is one of two NRA employees who allege they were sexually harassed while they worked there in the 1990s during Cain's time as CEO,

Cain again Tuesday vehemently denied he ever committed sexual harassment.

Kraushaar, who worked at the association from 1998 to 1999, is a long-time civil servant and has held several communication jobs within the federal government.

Her attorney, Joel Bennett, denied Kraushaar had anything to do with the initial leaking of the story recounting the allegations.

"My client had nothing to do with releasing this story publicly," Bennett said on CNN's "The Situation Room" on Tuesday.

Kraushaar has not responded to requests for comment from CNN.

CNN contributor Maria Cardona, who hired Kraushaar at the Immigration and Naturalization Service after she the left the restaurant lobby, told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger Kraushaar's "stomach is in knots."

"This has been heart wrenching for her, and still is," Cardona said.

One reason Kraushaar has been reluctant to come forward publicly, she told Cardona, is that "she can't stomach forming the words to talk about what happened to her."

Kraushaar worked under Cardona at the INS and was sent to Miami to handle the media during coverage of the deportation of young Cuban immigrant Elian Gonzalez.

"Karen was the ideal employee," Cardona said. "In my opinion, her credibility is beyond reproach. She was the utmost professional, one of the hardest working individuals I have ever known … the consummate team player."

Kraushaar told the Post she is ready to speak publicly.

"I am interested in a joint press conference for all of the women where we would all be together with our attorneys and all of these allegations could be reviewed as a collective body of evidence," she said.

Bennett last week issued a statement that he and Kraushaar wrote discussing some of her allegation against Cain. Kraushaar, however, decided not to go public with her identity at that time because she wanted to maintain her privacy, Bennett told CNN.

"She and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter nor in discussing the matter any further publicly or privately. In fact, it would be extremely painful to do so," Bennett said on Friday at a news conference.

Bennett said at the news conference that he was retained in 1999. At the time he said he and his client filed a complaint "about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances" from Cain. He said his client wanted to rebut the denials issued by Cain but decided not to have the whole record of the incident released to the public.

Kraushaar is a registered Republican. Contribution records show she donated $250 to the Democratic National Committee in 2009.

– CNN's Kevin Bohn, Gloria Borger and Jim Acosta contributed to this story.


Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    @Rick McDaniel

    "Republicans don't donate to the DNC. This is the democratic Party making all these allegations."
    ---------------------------------------
    Step away from Fox News Rick. This is Karl Rove working here – like the "swift boat" and all of the other examples of Republican politics. Democrats would love to have a moron like Cain running. You're the one seeing this as a race issue.

    How many women need to come forward before you focus on this issue?

    November 8, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    Herman Cain boldly and belligerently denies any wrong doing even though there are currently four accusers. He says, “It ain’t ever happened” and “I ain’t dropping out”. Also there is a sizable number of Republicans who strongly advocate continuing support for Cain and many even criticize his accusers. All of that seems ridiculous as there are enough accusers to demand they be treated creditably, there is the strong possibility of more coming to light and stubbornly and blindly supporting him just says those people don’t care about anything other than their own interests. Regrettably, today that is a very typical Republican attitude that demonstrates a cocky, self-focused mentality that ignores politics is suppose to be responsible to the people and not just having a confidence in the power and influence that enables them to do whatever they want and to con the people and manipulate public opinion. He is “innocent until proven guilty” but he and those supporters are already guilty of distasteful arrogance and irresponsible avoidance.

    November 8, 2011 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  3. thomas

    To all of you who think Cain was set up by the Dems.

    You GOP people eat your own !

    Herman Cain ,Bill O'Reilly and Clarence Thomas , IT"S A MANS WORLD !

    November 8, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. The Unsub

    whoooo you republicans are MAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!! I would be too! There goes your only glimmer of hope to get to the white house!

    November 8, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. KMar

    Wow...he likes blondes

    November 8, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. Shannon

    Poor Herman, he's back to blaming the Dems. First it was the Dems, then the Republicans, not it's the Dems again. He didn't do it, he didn't remember, he does remember some of it, he didn't know them, there was no settlement, oh wait there was. It's unbelievable to me, that anyone would support a man who changes his story so many times. Is there a Republican out there that can take responsibility for anything that they do or say. Always the victim should be the motto for the Republican party.

    November 8, 2011 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  7. Captcorajus

    This is not a case of He said/ She said. It is a case of He said then she said, and then she said, then she said, then another she said yet again. If you keep getting blamed for groping women at your job over and over again, you've only got yourself to blame.

    November 8, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. ac

    OK, Pepperonii Cain....move back to the back of the bus

    November 8, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. bob

    Couldn't Gloria find a more believable woman? Ka ching Ka ching. The sound of a cash register.

    November 8, 2011 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. Bob

    Cain has blamed everyone for his failings. He has told lies to cover his lies. This man isn't fit to be President. Are the Republicans really this desperate?

    November 8, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. Rachael in NC

    I remember another woman who made accusations of sexual assault with no facts to back it up here in NC. Her name was Crystal Mangum and the local lawyer and DA Mr. Nyfong and the media grabbed that story and ran with it too. Even the NAACP cried for justice. It's a shame those Duke students lives were ruined by the lies before they were found to be innocent. It was all a lie she got caught up in and once the students were found innocent, the media still had a hard time letting the story die. They wanted it to be true. My hunch is that is the same snowball going on here fed by the lawyers and media.

    November 8, 2011 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. re

    Some of the harshest attacks from Cain is directed at woman claiming sexual assault and voted republican...... So, to all the GOP idiots out there claiming this has something to do with Democrats, Socialist or Obama I suggest you require too many educational $$$$$ to teach you right-from-wrong... so, stay far right, tote a gun and please cross the line so we can lock you up!!!!

    November 8, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  13. Jane

    If there are 4 women, there are probably a lot more. Where there's smoke, there's fire. Cain should just bow out now and stop further embarrassment to his family.

    November 8, 2011 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  14. Bob

    Cain should bow out on 11-11-11.

    November 8, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. CandidateThis

    See Ya Herman. You're a pig. I'm seeing a pattern with these blond girls. Don't worry, your wife has total faith in you-she'd make a great First Lady! I need the GOP to find Somebody, ANYBODY, who can pose a threat to Obama –and make him a One Term & Done commander in chief. It's sad Cain is even in the running. Maybe he can call Sandusky & Paterno for counseling.

    November 8, 2011 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  16. marty rogers

    These are not new allegations. There were accusations serious enough to warrant an investigation , lawyers, witnesses, etc....over 15 years ago. You are telling me these women knew way back then he was going to run for president 15 years later and held it until it happened? he is toast! he has no business running this country.

    November 8, 2011 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  17. marty rogers

    I believe these women. pretty obvious they are telling the truth

    November 8, 2011 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  18. Indy

    This just gets worse by the day for Obama, his dream opponent is falling from grace faster then Bush spent the Clinton surplus. The Obama administration was praying that Cain would get the Republican nod and then the Republicans had to go and leak Cains criminal behavior and ruin the easy win for Obama. Even though Romney could never win the Whitehouse against Obama he will be a little tougher then Cain would have been. Go figure Republicans ruining other Republicans !

    November 8, 2011 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    Terry,Va: Another Obummie supporter slopping out of the Federal government trough.

    She's a registered Republican and longtime government employee who once worked as a spokesperson for the Immigration And Naturalization Service. You may recall that she offered a statement after meeting with the Miami family of Elian Gonzalez in March of 2000.

    You're a lot like Cain, Terry, personally attacking people you don't like instead of dealing with FACTS.

    November 8, 2011 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  20. Sonnie2

    Cain is truly the man for the next potus. And so he is the biggest target. There are those in the drive by media and the liberals and lots of lobbiest who would do anything to discredit anyone who has Common Sense. Mud slinging is the name of the game if you seem to be what America wants and needs. It is down right shamefull how washington works these days. Greed, Power and Coruption runs rampant and is a snow ball going down a steep hill picking up momentum very fast.

    November 8, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    "What FACTS were presented people from Obamaland?"

    The FACT that the National Restaurant Association paid two women for their silence in regard to their sexual harassment cases against Cain.

    November 8, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    According to his interview on Fox, Cain's schmokin; campaign manager said that he was made aware of these two settlements back in 2003 when Cain was running for the Senate, and that they would need a "media strategy" for handling them.

    Funny how when the settlements were brought to light, Cain developed amnesia.

    November 8, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    This cain story is turning into a Woods story minus the golf club!!

    November 8, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  24. David

    How many women have to come forward before Herman comes clean?

    November 8, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  25. Ed 1

    Just show the proof and this will all stop.

    Cain should sue them if he has nothing to hide.

    November 8, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
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