Herman Cain accuser identified
Karen Kraushaar is pictured in 2000.
November 8th, 2011
03:48 PM ET
11 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)

    The snowball is rolling and gathering speed,.. pretty soon it will set off an avalanche.

    November 8, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. Voice of Reason

    Let the trolls start spouting about how she's an Obama plant, bent on helping to usher in a new era of veggie-eating, hippie-singing, Wall-street occupying, commie-wannabe-socialistic-sharia-law-loving-leftism... Regardless of the facts.

    In 5...4...3...2...1...

    November 8, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Terry,Va

    Another Obummie supporter slopping out of the Federal government trough. What a surprise. First lawyer Alred , the most liberal ambulance chasing dumbocrap there is and her stooge and now this. Obummie is running scared. He will probably declare martial law and cancel the elections before it is over.

    November 8, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. scott

    i understand what she says but also if its true i would like to know i do not want a pig in offfice simple as that

    November 8, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. Voice of Reason

    Anyone who says that this lady cant say what she has to say because she works for the treasury should think twice. You dont forfeit your right to free speech when you get a job, nor are you forced to pretend that any past injustices dont exist.

    November 8, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. fed-up

    it hasn't helped cain to call these women liars!! now they are speaking out and good for them. he has blamed everyone he can. his ability to handle his personal situation only supports my feelings that he wouldn't be able to handle our nations problems. he seems to be able to make pizzas, so he can fall back on that.

    November 8, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Hal

    One works at the Treasury Department and one lives in the same apartment building as Axelrod. What a coincidence.

    November 8, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. annette

    that makes two women that have been named. i wonder if cain is still going to deny this. he needs to come clean so that he can move on otherwise cain's campaign is going to stay stagnent. is this how he will be if he wins the presidency by just ignoring the truth/problem. i do not think his wife knows everything about his behavior outside the home.

    November 8, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. sortakinda

    You know, Herman probably hired the one with the flip-hairdo yesterday–she doesn't have a boyfriend any more and could use the money. Tomorrow that one will say Justin Bieber got her pregnant–in the 90's.

    November 8, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. vet in texas

    like that string sticking out of the bottom of a sweater, pull it just a little and the whole thing starts to unravel, I'm still waiting on Cain to "blame himself", I mean if your being singled out for past harrasment, it's by your own doing. If your successful, then you should blame yourself, so this should be easy, Blame yourself!

    She's white also, Mrs. Cain isn't going to like this, but she...........should Blame herself

    November 8, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. jerry@Dallas

    Secret is only to one person. I knew this would come out openly at some point. Cain should know that whole world is watching. He should gauge his fitness to be C in C. Are we ready for such character in White House? I beg fellow Republicans to consider John Huntsman! In my opinion, he got less baggage that Obama can benefit from. Actually, he got better record than any other candidate from any party. More also, he is moderate to the center. Both extremes are the root source of our National downfall. OBAMA V HUNTSMAN 2012. Btw, before religion is thumped on me,I am Baptist.

    November 8, 2011 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  12. unsub

    wait shes a repub, but donated to the dem national committee in 2009?

    November 8, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. San

    I hope they leave her alone. She didn't choose to be harassed and she opted to stay quiet. That was wrong to publish her name.

    November 8, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. LegendRx

    And here they come . . . "EXCUSE ME, EXCUSE ME", can I have a do-over, ask Mr. Cain? LOL!

    November 8, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. A Repulbican

    The hammer is about to fall. Cain just come out with the truth and you will be a hero. Hide and continue to lie will only lead to a great personal fall not to mention a presidential nominee fall.

    November 8, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Laverne

    Yeah, republican and I bet white too, just a thought...........since blacks are brainwashed.

    November 8, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Republicans don't donate to the DNC. This is the democratic Party making all these allegations, because they fear one black man against another, and being unable to play the race card, which they do with regularity.

    November 8, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Karine

    She is just another opportunistic floozie looking for her 10 minutes of fame .
    She is demeaning all women who have just causes for complaint and is doing them a great disservice.

    November 8, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Remember Remember the Fifth of November!

    GOPTP kool-aid drinkers would beleive whatever the faux news of the day is. So sad to see the sheeple led to th Koch slaughterhouse.

    November 8, 2011 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Newmoon2

    Say buh-bye, Herman!

    November 8, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Good to hear how self made millionaire, Terry, Va,, weighs in on this. He, or she, proves you can be rich and still be clueless. We now know how the corporate toadies are viewing Herb's transgressions.

    November 8, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Ed DFWTX

    Repubs can do all the normal "blame the bad liberals" thing but the facts (which Repubs like to distort) are the charges were the result of Cain's bad decisions and others in the Repub party trying to bring him down. The GOP has no values or morals and this is just another example. The so called "values party" is nothing but the party of greed and lies.

    November 8, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. Retired Army in San Antonio

    @ Voice of Reason


    I was thinking the same thing!

    November 8, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. Roman

    Politics aside, I was a little confused with her statement. Why do you have to write down and read a first person account? Also her lawyer said her story was similar, not the same? Once the story stops being consistant, it is hard to give it credibility.

    November 8, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. San

    Karine, she was outed. She wanted to remain quiet and private. You are really not playing with a full deck.

    November 8, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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