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)
  1. Jrdz

    This yo yo is blaming everybody else but himself so this must be his Blame-Blame-Blame plan how is that working for you Mr Cain?

    November 8, 2011 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  2. agnostrick

    All of you libs living it up and cheering this on were no doubt the first to trash Paula Jones and the long list of Clinton accusers. Those were trash, these are legit and we know this because Cain is a Republican. Okay, just so we all know the rules.

    By the way, I HAVE NO IDEA what happened, but isn't it possible neither woman wanted to come forward because they would be embarrassed for the world to know what they were paid $35K for, i.e. how trivial the offense was? I don't know, but it is possible, and you don't know either.

    This is probably the end of Cain's chances, but it shows how easy it is to take out just about any candidate on the right. Not the left so much, because after Clinton we all saw that the left has a much higher tollerance for this kind of behavior in their own heros.

    November 8, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Another Obummie supporter slopping out of the Federal government trough."

    She's a registered Republican, just like Bialek.

    November 8, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. Hal

    So by your bizarre "logic" every single person in the country is now defined by the political leanings of their neighbors? Someone here is off the rails, and it's not the media.
    After reading some of your posts, Mr. Pig, I suggest professional help is in your future.

    November 8, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Cedar Rapids

    "agnostrick – This is probably the end of Cain's chances, but it shows how easy it is to take out just about any candidate on the right."

    and here is the thing.....it was not the dems that leaked this so no point trying to point fingers at the left here, they are not the ones that released this info, look to your own camp.

    November 8, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Supa

    Why do republicans always resort to name calling and finger pointing as soon as fact are presented? What FACTS were presented people from Obamaland? There seems to be a strong connection to Chicago woman number 4(Daily, Rahm Emanuel, Axelrod) and Dem Woman number 1(Tresury dept, her donation as a Republican). I would like to see where the others reside and their connection to Obamaland and the Kenyan Coolaid.

    November 8, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Shame on Cain and his supporters for making these women victims for a second time. Blaming the liberal media, the left and Bill Clinton doesn't wash.

    November 8, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. What now

    And people wonder why women continue to refuse to report harrassment, abuse and rape.

    November 8, 2011 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    As this story is TRENDING – Cain is LIVE on air DENYING EVERYTHING!!!!! What a shame!!

    November 8, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  10. Winnifred Nelson

    Does Cain think that thewoman involved just fell offa turnip truck. Let's get real. If there was a payout to these accusers there must have been some truth to the matter. This babbling on that the incidents did not happen are going to be is comuppance.

    November 8, 2011 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Telchristina

    Per Cain: "If you are not rich, blame yourself"
    To Cain: you are the one who dig your own grave blame yourself!

    November 8, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Excuse_me

    Where or where is Axelrod? Just off camera with the lawyers of these women.

    November 8, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Mark of Tennessee

    Dang white women coming out of the cracks... Herman pack your bags and go home!!!!!.. GAME OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 8, 2011 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    @ Terry, VA

    I read your ignorant posts and sincerely wish you would seek an education.

    Dominican Mama had to tell you to capitalize your name and the name of your state as you DID NOT know. You claimed in one post you SAVED your money. Don't make me laugh. The only thing you have ever saved is your hatred. BEFORE you TRY and insult our president by calling him ignorant names – PLEASE LOOK AT THE WOMAN IN THE MIRROR FIRST. President Obama is going to be fine but you will always be an ignorant NOBODY.

    November 8, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Oldie in TampaBay

    he sounds like a politician already ..

    November 8, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. HorstThormann

    Hey, Randall...do you remember Kathleen Willey? Billy and Herman are BOTH pigs.

    November 8, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. S Norton

    This is one of the differences between being a private citizen running for public office and a politician. Herman Cain has never had to address these issues publicly before. There are too many coming out now for him to keep acting so indignant. I think there are more to come. I just wish he'd admit it and step aside.

    November 8, 2011 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    This really BLOWS, huh Cain?

    November 8, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  19. KDenver


    Really? "Kenyan Coolaid"? First of all, way to hide your racism. Second of all, why should the Obama admin have to present facts about anything? This is Cain's problem, he is a REPUBLICAN, the person who was named to "leak" this story was working for another REPUBLICAN's campaign and the women who have been named are REPUBLICANS. Noticing a trend? No? That's because you are most likely a REPUBLICAN who is immune to logic.

    November 8, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Just totally SUCKS, eh?

    November 8, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. TiAmo

    One chick told Cain "What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend." What's that supposed to mean, that if she didn't have a boyfriend his advances would have been alright? I think this is that womans Mitt Moment (I can't have illegals working for me. I'm running for office)

    November 8, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Jean Sartre, Milwaukee, WI

    Isn't it somewhat funny to see Hermie – "Blame Yourself" – blogging under the name Rick McDaniels?

    November 8, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. V in Chicago

    Folks – This is about a man who used his power to try and pursuade women to grant him sexual favors. Hermain Cain is a predator. Plain and simple. Once he put himself in the running for the highest office in this country, he opened himself up to whatever skeletons he was hiding. Obviously, not the brightest person if he actually thought all this would not come out. It doesn't matter if he is on the left or the right, he was wrong and has been trying to play the public. He has lied, side stepped, shifted, shouted and anything else he could do to try and get this to go away. The problem is, it is only getting worse.

    This is NOT the work of the Obama Administration. If anything, this is the right eating its own. Politics is a dirty business and Cain should have had the sense to know this is exactly the type of thing that would be used against him. To me, it only goes to show how incredibly clueless this man is and that he has no business in public office much less the White House.

    November 8, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. Texas Doc

    He is such a glowing example of the best the GOP has to offer. Real classy, I bet he's a real Family Values guy.

    November 8, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. manhandler

    The Obama campaign could care less about Cain...he was never gonna get the nomination in the first place. Their attention is on Romney, who WILL probably get the nomination..As a matter of fact, it probably would have been better for the Obama campaign if Cain and Romney had had to fight it out till the end. Hey right wing dnigbats, the Aliens will come pick you up tonight....be ready.

    November 8, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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