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Monday
Dec122011

Exclusive: ‘It Was Very Painful,’ Herman Cain Says of Allegations

Donna Svennevik/ABC(NEW YORK) -- Despite suspending his presidential bid, Herman Cain says that he is innocent of all the charges made against him and his wife, Gloria, didn’t ask him to leave the race.

“She would never do that,” Cain told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview for her 10 Most Fascinating People special. “My wife and I have been married for 43 years. She shared with me how she felt; it was very painful. She believes me. And so I’m at peace with her, she’s at peace with me.”

What started as a dream campaign for a confident 66-year-old black conservative businessman bucking the establishment, ended in a nightmare of sexual harassment allegations and charges of long-term infidelity.

The former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza said he made the decision to suspend his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination “because of the pain that it was causing my wife, and my family, and me, every time it is brought up in the media over and over and over. They were not going to stop.”

He told Walters that “in many ways,” he is happy to have his life back.

“I was prepared for much of the things that I had to do but it was the vicious, unrelenting, character assassination that finally caused too much pain to my wife, my family and me.”

Cain announced Dec. 3 that he planned to devote his attention to “Plan B,” an organization called TheCainSolutions.com to advance his 9-9-9 economic plan and other ideas.

Watch ABC’s Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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