November 7th, 2011
02:15 PM ET
11 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. Bernard

    His middle name is MANDINGO

    November 7, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. al in memphis

    I'm not a Cain supporter, but let's have the information process work itself out before judgment happens. This lady will provide information and Cain will provide information. After that, let reasonable minds decide.
    Hotel records should be easy to find. However, I hope this is not in any way this is not a movie script going bad.

    November 7, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. Whome

    She looks like the woman who groped me in elementary school.

    November 7, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  4. Shelly

    Fishy story, come on why would she go to Washington to me him for job advice? should have gone to here local Job Service Center. she went for an overnight trip after being let go from her job for job advice and why did she get in a car with him. if anything she is mad because he either didn't get her money or a job or both or she wanted a longer affair and he didn't want to accommodate her. at any rate I don't believe her because she, she went straight for the power attorney.

    November 7, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. Dellaman

    Let's recap; Herman Cain supports a tax plan that favors the most wealthy at the expense of everybody else, he refers to David Koch as " his brother from another mother" and asserts that if you don't have a job that you should "blame yourself". It's pretty clear whose economic interests he will represent.
    He makes light of his ignorance of the countries that split from the Soviet Union and was unaware that China became a nuclear power when he was a teenager. These are not failings we can accept from a serious presidential candidate.
    Now we have a fourth woman claiming that she was sexually harassed by Mr. Cain. After watching how he conducts himself in public, it is not hard to imagine him doing the things he has been accused of. He will rightfully be pushed out of this race in short order.

    November 7, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. vet in texas

    So let me get this straight, all of last week we've had Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin all vouching for Cain, confirming that he's a stand up guy, etc, etc.........Looking at her picture, you know everyone will have to believe it!

    I ask all of their listeners to "refudiate" them and ask them to finally be accountable for their words, I mean if they are all knowing and all things conservative, why didn't they warn you about W?
    Why didn't they warn you about Cheney"
    Why didn't they warn you about deregulation (like they ever would)
    I'll tell you why, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T MAKE $38 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, telling the truth! Yet all of these honest good people keep falling for it everytime.

    Now they have you believing that OWS is Obama and ACORN.......if so, like they say, ASK FOR PROOF. Hold them and your party leaders accountable for their indescrescions, "we lost our way" won't cut it anymore, If Newt can get a second chance then why can't Obama?

    "I didn't vote for him (Kennedy), but he's the President and I hope he does a good job" – John Wayne

    November 7, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Herman Cain: "Hmmm,I guess upon closer inspection she really DID'NT look like my wife at all".
    Sing Herman!! Sing for your political life!!!!
    You can start with "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"!

    November 7, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. AZ Dem

    The fact that this is ANOTHER woman doesnt bode well for his chances of surviving this scandal...Cain was NEVER gonna get the nomination but I must say it will be sad to see him go out like this....

    November 7, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Keith in Austin

    Please....Can this get any sleazier? I'm so sick of the mud-slinging and we have a year to go! Here's an idea, let's all vote on Obama's record over the last 3 years! Pretty obvious he needs to go back under his rock in Chicago doesn't it?

    November 7, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Daniel

    Mr. Cain, if you have accusations from them that are untrue and they are just out to get you because of the color of your skin...."BLAME YOURSELF."

    November 7, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. unsub

    oh lord here it comes!

    November 7, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Lizzie

    Ok, he is CEO for the NRA she gets fired, she wants her job back, she does not get it, so is she unemployed at this time??? Who is paying her bills???? Who is paying GLoria Albright?????? When was the last time you got fired from a job and the CEO takes time to take you to dinner. Questions, questions.

    November 7, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Jamie from Riverside

    I LOVE IT! This GOP circus should stay together and perhaps move on to a Bravo reality show:
    Despearate GOP Presidential Candidates of Washington D.C.

    November 7, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. RIP Clyde Frog

    If he can fix the economy, which most agree he can, we should over look a few youthful dalliances

    November 7, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Sounds like Mr. KochCain was also looking for "job". BJ that is.

    November 7, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Lizzie

    Great memory, word for word.

    November 7, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. vet in texas

    I'm still amazed at all the people who are defending him, I guess in the past 3 years these same defenders for some reason, have bought alot of gold, some emergency food, and Carbonite, wonder where they got that idea?

    I pity the fool whom have ever donated any money to SarahPAC, and I definitely pity anyone here who actually thought Cain would be a real candidate, or that he was actually a regular person. Go ahead, look into his past and show me anything in the past 30 years of his life that wasn't being a corporate shill.

    November 7, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. Voice of Reason

    We still dont know if this lady is telling the truth or what – was there some supporting evidence for her story? The hotel probably doesnt have records back that far (it's been 14 years), and she couldnt have filed a complaint because she wasnt an employee at that point. So for now, it's her word against his, and she's a once-fired employee who might have an axe to grind...

    But given all that – I still think he's lying. He's been evasive on this whole matter; he's changed his story a few times, evloving it over time to fit the facts as they come out. Any cop will tell you that's the behavior of someone who is trying to deceive you.

    I want to hear from the other three women. Let's get this out in the open, and put some sunshine on it. Herman Cain, release these women from their confidentiality agreement, and prove to us that it's nothing. Or we'll forever think of you as a philandering dirtbag liar.

    November 7, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  19. Luke Brown

    Bill Clinton was impeached for less than that.

    November 7, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Ed 1

    trying for her 15 minutes too I guess.

    Why now and not 15 years ago?

    If they have the proof then go get him if not then why?

    Tired of all the BS Clinton was impeached for lying under oath but still remained President.

    Stick with the issues and get a life.

    November 7, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  21. Voice of Reason

    Herm's so far out of touch now – that he isnt even bothering to deny these allegations. He just says, "I dont want to talk about it". Puuh-Leeze. Can we get him off the stage already?

    November 7, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. republicanshate women, eventheirOWNmothers

    Given that his 999 plan raises taxes on the lower 54% of the population, his foreign policy is based around not KNOWING china has nuclear weapons and he intends to cut the deficit by scrapping medicare, he's probably better off if people keep talking about this.
    Republicans view women as property anyway, so it won't harm him with republican voters. To them, it's just like stroking someone else's parked car, or riding someone else's mule.

    November 7, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Lisa the Lib

    @Davem Central Illinois - It's a well-known fact that Conservatives believe anything their preacher, party leaders, Tea Party mouthpieces, and unethical financial advisers tell them. Conservatives are the real racists, the really greedy and hateful people. They would prefer we revert to a culture where it's OK to sexually harass women, where it's OK to discriminate against fellow citizens for any number of reasons that make sense in their white male-centric psyches. Female? Gay? Black? Poor? Mentally ill? Just plain unlucky? Don't ask a conservative for help - he'll tell you that you deserve the treatment you get because God must have made you that way for a reason - to punish you.

    November 7, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Name Champsbabe

    That creepy smile & those hats make sense now! Pimp Daddy Cain for Prez! Priceless.

    November 7, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. ja

    no life jackets on the boat herman, save face go home, full circle, the chickens are home to roost

    November 7, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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