Cain: 'I was falsely accused'
November 1st, 2011
10:22 AM ET
9 years ago

Cain: 'I was falsely accused'

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said Tuesday that the financial settlement with one of his sexual harassment accusers "was in the vicinity of 3 to 6 months (of) severance pay."

The payment was "not outside our guidelines for what most people get ... when they leave the restaurant association involuntarily," he said.

Cain told HLN Tuesday that sexual harassment charges made against him "may affect the poll numbers" in the GOP nomination fight, but "most" of his supporters are not abandoning his campaign.

"We're not going to allow these distractions to get us off message," Cain said.

Cain said that, in regard to sexual harassment complaints made against him, "this was 12 years ago. I was falsely accused."

Cain said he remembers a "separation agreement," as opposed to a "legal settlement" with one of his accusers."We were in my office. The door was wide open" when the alleged offense occurred, Cain said. Cain noted that his secretary was sitting outside at the time of the incident.

Cain said his story has shifted as he has recalled more about the incident.

Cain told HLN he recalls nothing about a second alleged incident of harassment. The charges were "so ridiculous that I don't remember what they are," he said.

"Obviously someone is encouraging them to bring it up now because I'm doing so well" in the GOP nomination fight, he said. "I absolutely believe that this is an intended smear campaign."

Filed under: 2012 • Herman Cain
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    For a man running his pseudo presidential campaign on "honesty and integrity", Mr. Cain sure is pulling out a lot of "I don't recall ... I don't remember ... I don't know" gimmicks from his "personal responsibility" portfolio. Beyond that, there sure are a lot of folks blogging from the right who were hell bent on removing President Clinton from office, yet are willing to give Mr. Cain a free pass of "so what". Fact is, Limbaugh, Coulter, FOX News jumped all over themselves 24/7 to cover the Clinton/Lewinsky fiasco ... and made millions in profit for their efforts. Most likely they don't see the "profit" of condemning Mr. Cain in quite the way they condemned Clinton.

    November 1, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Waaah. Someone get the man a tissue, stat.

    "I absolutely believe that this is an intended smear campaign."

    Even assuming it is, my guess is that it's from Cowboy Fonzie's camp. Obama, Dems, liberals, the MSM (assuming it's as "leftist" as the crazies love to claim) all would have no reason to tear down Cain: he has less chance of beating Obama than Romney. Cowboy Fonzie has the most reason to do so: presumably, in light of the way in which the GOP/Teatrolls have polled concerning Mittens, Cain's supporters would flock to Cowboy Fonzie, not Mittens, if Cain has to drop out.

    November 1, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I absolutely believe that this is an intended smear campaign."
    Yes it is, by your own team. What part of "Your time is up" do you not understand Kochcain? It is Romney's turn; or maybe Sanitarium's but in any event your'e getting too far ahead it is time to take you down one gaffe and scandal at a time.
    By the way, a word of advice, if you'd stopped laying bricks they wouldn't be able to smear you with them.
    Take a page on how to behave like a serious presidential candidate from your current President, Barack Hussein Obama, that is IF you were ever serious about running for president, which I don't believe you were.

    November 1, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    Hush money was paid which justifies your guilt Herman. If I was falsely accused, I wouldn't be paying out money.

    November 1, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. harvey 60

    wonder what Ann Coulter has to say about the presumptive Vice-Presidential nominee now? gee, I guess it wasn't the liberal media going after Herman with a sleazy story, was it Ann? of course, with a Republican Party history of "I am not a crook" to "I have no recollection of that" to WMDs in Iraq to waterboarding is not torture, The Lyinator deserves something. Why not a seat on SCOTUS, next to the other lying black Republican who never engaged in sexual harassment?

    November 1, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Cain's image is tarnished no matter how vehement the denials.

    November 1, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. vet in texas

    Ah, Ah, ah........your supposed to blame yourself remember! Maybe you can grin and sing your way out of this one.

    November 1, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If we had a nickel for every republican who uttered those same words, we could all retire.

    November 1, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. GI Joe

    Every man in prison is innocent and loves Jesus.

    November 1, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Annie, Atlanta

    I won't stand in judgment of Cain. We don't have all the details.

    I just find it interesting that as he rises in the polls, someone thought it was necessary to take him out. Like I said in another post about him on the Ticker, my money is on either Rove or Romney.

    November 1, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    To paraphrase: "I was falslely accused so I paid hush money to hide the details."

    Why does this seem familiar. Oh, yeah-History. From Richard Nixon through his cabinet and advisors (including His Attorney General, the highest legal officer in the United States); Gerald Ford trading a Presidential pardon for the office of President; the teflon President,Rinald Reagan, who had more Administration officials do jail time than Nixon; on and on through the two Georges (George the second ended up making George the first seem positivly brilliant by comparison).

    It is a Republican tradition.

    They are not so good at catching Democrats. The Republicans spents untold millions of dollars of taxpayer money going after Clinton. After all that time and money they couldn't even prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a married man might lie if caught in an affair.

    November 1, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't know what constitutes "sexual harassment," but would bet it is up to each individual woman, because some circumstances are vague, at best. I worked in an office setting years ago where one of the attorneys said to me one morning that I looked good enough to chase around the desk. He was an older man, married, with kids. I was young. I didn't consider it harassment, nor did I take it seriously, though it did make me uncomfortable. However, when I said something to some friends years later, some of them thought it was sexual harassment. Please don't misunderstand, I'm not condoning treating people like this in any way. It's just that sometimes the lines are vague, and sometimes they're not.

    November 1, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I would presume that when someone is accused of sexual harrassment/misconduct, the occassion would be forever imbedded in one's memory banks. Much like fleeing Cuba from Castro, but I digress. Your initial denials followed by claims of spotty recall of said event were completely bogus. You fooled no one.
    Now you're claiming that you were framed. 'Otay!
    You subsequently and quite bizarrely breaking into song in the middle of a nationally televised interview yesterday sealed your doomed fate.
    You're a clown cain.
    Now serving #5!

    November 1, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Sick of it

    it is smear campaign. sad when modern politics is to bad mouth each other instead of keeping to the points. Cain has always stayed on subject rather than smear other canidates unlike perry and rommey. What a bunch of kids.

    November 1, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. barb

    this man has the brain drain problem...cant lies to much....

    November 1, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. Rob in MO

    This guy's a bumbling incompetent. Even with the low standards of republican candidiates, he is in no way qualified to be pres. Opposition politicians and foreign leaders would eat him alive.

    November 1, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. s

    Now Doesn't everyone say the falsely accused, so give us all a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Must be a Plain relative always want to blame someone else.

    November 1, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Audrey De Shields

    Cain said he told his wife about this years ago, did he tell her that he is guilty? because he surely is.
    breaking into song at a very inappropriate time..when he should have been apoligizing for deceiving the nation into
    thinking he is a christian, who actually has values and morals.. he is a Clarence Thomas clone..
    Audrey DeShields

    November 1, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. Debbie

    Cain in your own words don't blame others. Man up!

    November 1, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Hmm. As The Campaign Rolls (over and dies)

    Yesterday, Mr. Cain said the severance "might" be in the range of 2 months. Today it is in the range 3 to 6 months, which is really quite generous. I know that if I were a paying member of the NRA, I would be upset that our funds were used to pay for the indiscretions of a board member, especially the CEO. That should have come out of the accused party's pocket, just before they were terminated.

    November 1, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Sniffit

    It's now Nov 1st, so I have to admit I was wrong about his campaign being dead by the end of October, but boy does it look like I was close. The headless chicken is still running around like crazy.

    November 1, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Woman In California

    It's funny he always laughs at everyone else but now that it's happening to him – suddenly it's not so funny. Blame yourself Mr. Cain for your own failure – don't blame everyone else.

    November 1, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Get your story straight, Herm.

    November 1, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    vet in texas

    Ah, Ah, ah........your supposed to blame yourself remember! Maybe you can grin and sing your way out of this one.
    His singing, like his lying, his memory, and his campaign sucks!
    He has no one to blame but HIMSELF. If he hadn't been there and done that none of this would've happenned.
    Karma. Karma. Karma.

    November 1, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Sick of it – wrote:
    it is smear campaign. sad when modern politics is to bad mouth each other instead of keeping to the points. Cain has always stayed on subject rather than smear other canidates unlike perry and rommey. What a bunch of kids.
    You have entirely missed the point. Yes, it is about Mr. Cain's character and integrity. But, the real issue is his honesty and integrity. He has lied publicly, and done so repeately. He was not caught off-guard because he was notified of these allegations over a week ago, and given opportunity to respond privately.

    When his campaign did not respond, the story was released. This entire issue could have been swept away had Cain just simply said, "Yes, I was wrongly accused. By mutual agreement, all parties went there separate ways." Done. Instead, Cain has misled the public on a minor issue. So, how could the man be trusted to be honest with the public if he were POTUS. He cannot. His campaign is about to completely implode.

    The opposing candidates have more reason to take Cain out of the race, than Democrats. Obama is focused on Romney, because all of the other candidates would lose by nearly ten percentage points, or more, if they were nominated.

    November 1, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |