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Entries in Sexual Harassment (29)

Thursday
Dec012011

Herman Cain to Supporters: ‘It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, and It Ain’t Over’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- As nearly 50 supporters squeezed into his small, six-room headquarters in New Hampshire, Herman Cain used the words of Yogi Berra on Wednesday to define the state of his campaign just two days after a woman named Ginger White came forward claiming to have engaged in a long-term affair with the presidential candidate.

“After that latest firestorm, there were some people that thought that I was finished, but I’m going to leave it with Yogi Berra’s comment: It ain’t over till it’s over, and it ain’t over yet,” Cain told supporters as they cheered him on.

Cain said his experience as a businessman has taught him the need to reassess a situation, giving only a timeline of the “next several days” until he makes a decision about how he will proceed with his campaign.

Cain told reporters in a media availability after the short speech that he is waiting to make his final decision about continuing with the presidential race until he sits down face to face with his wife on Friday to discuss the impact the latest allegations have had upon his family.

“Since I’ve been campaigning all week, I haven’t had an opportunity to sit down with her and walk through this with my wife and my family.  I will do that when I get back home on Friday,” said Cain.

In what became a heated exchange between a reporter and the candidate, Cain was asked if he had even discussed the accusations with his wife.

“You haven’t sat down and discussed Ginger White with your wife yet?” the reporter asked.

“I have discussed this with my wife many times since Monday.  You are making an accusation, quite frankly, that is not true,” Cain said.  “Now are you going to be contentious or do you want me to answer the question?  I have talked to my wife many times since Monday about this situation. … I have not talked to her face to face.  That’s what I said.  We have had many lengthy conversations. … This is another reason why that I am not going to make a decision until after we’ve talked face to face.”

Cain said campaign strategy, support from voters and fundraising are other factors he will reevaluate over the coming days.  The businessman said fundraising dropped when the latest accusation was made on Monday, but since “this woman who has made these accusations has basically started to contradict herself, our fundraising is starting to go back up.  It’s not up to the level of where it was, but a lot of people are saying -- you know what? -- they don’t believe it.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov302011

Herman Cain's Campaign Manager: ‘No Way He’s Dropping Out’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Although Herman Cain told his senior staff Tuesday morning that he was “reassessing” his campaign’s livelihood in light of an accusation by an Atlanta woman of a 13-year extra-marital affair, Cain’s campaign manager, Mark Block, said in an interview with ABC News Tuesday night that there is “no way he’s dropping out.”

Block said the term “reassessment” was meant to imply a “strategic reassessment” and “not a reassessment of withdrawing” from the race.

Cain, said Block, will outline the specifics of that strategic reassessment during a campaign stop in Dayton, Ohio Wednesday.  In Ohio, Block said, Cain “will lay out his way forward.”

When pressed on whether Cain, under any circumstances, would drop out, Block replied that just two things would push him out: “Mrs. Cain, and if we show up to do events and no one is there.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Latest Herman Cain Accuser Not Surprised at Cain's Denial

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Herman Cain told senior staff Tuesday morning that he is "reassessing" whether to stay in the race for the presidency and that he will make a final decision soon, ABC News has confirmed.

(ATLANTA) -- The Georgia woman who says she carried on a 13-year affair with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said she is not surprised that Cain is denying the affair took place.

"I can't imagine him actually confirming," Ginger White told ABC News' Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV late Monday night.  "It's the name of the game I guess."

White came forward Monday evening in an interview with Fox's Atlanta affiliate WAGA-TV to claim that for more than a decade she and Cain carried on a lavish affair.  Cain and White spent many nights in a ritzy Atlanta hotel, he showered her with gifts and paid for her to travel to events where Cain was speaking, White said.

"It wasn't complicated.  I was aware that he was married.  And I was also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship," White told WAGA.  "He made it very intriguing, very fun.  It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time."

White provided WAGA with documents, including cellphone records showing calls and texts in the early morning hours allegedly between the two, to support her claim.

But before WAGA could air their exclusive report, Herman Cain appeared on CNN Monday to deny the story ahead of time and say that while he considered White a friend, there was absolutely no sex involved.

"I acknowledge that I've known her for about that period of time," Cain told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.  "But the accusation that I had a 13-year affair with her, no."

Court documents obtained by ABC News show White, a single mother, has a long history of legal and financial problems, including a threatened eviction notice earlier this month.

"I don't think that makes me out to be a bad person.  It makes me out to be one of the millions of people right now trying to keep a roof over their head," White told WAGA.

White's accusation comes just two weeks after Cain's wife of 43 years, Gloria, made a rare public appearance to defend her husband in the wake of accusations of sexual misconduct by several other women.

"His conscience would bother him and he couldn't look me straight in the eye," Gloria Cain said.

Cain's attorney, Lin Wood, provided WAGA with a statement before the broadcast Monday saying White's claim "appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults -- a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public."

"No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life," Wood's statement said, according to WAGA.  That statement, apparently made before Cain's appearance on CNN, said the presidential candidate would not speak about the allegations.

In another statement, Cain's campaign called the accusations just another attempt to "derail the Cain Train."

"The Cain Campaign is not surprised that another female accuser has come forward due to the fact that earlier allegations were unable to force Herman Cain to drop his presidential bid to renew America," the campaign said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov152011

Poll: Is Harassment Scandal Leading to Cain Mutiny?

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Views that sexual harassment charges against Herman Cain are a “serious matter” have soared since two of his accusers went public, his unfavorable ratings have jumped and a plurality of Americans -- especially women -- are inclined to believe the allegations, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

The findings mark a dramatic challenge to Cain’s candidacy.  Results a week-and-a-half ago found him showing initial resilience against news of the charges.  But as two women have come forward, doubts have risen.  Americans by an 11-point margin -- 44 percent to 33 percent -- say they’re inclined to believe Cain’s accusers over his denials.

The most dramatic change is a jump among potential Republican voters who see the matter as a serious one.  Thirty-nine percent said so the week before last; that’s rocketed to 61 percent now.  It inches slightly higher, to 69 percent, among all Americans.

Compared with a month ago, unfavorable views of Cain have soared by 17 points, including by 19 points among Republicans.  From essentially an even split in mid-October, more Americans now see Cain unfavorably than favorably by 44 percent to 29 percent.

Another key challenge for Cain in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, is a sharp gender gap across results.  Leaned Republican women, for example, are nearly twice as likely as men to say the allegations make them less likely to support Cain, 34 percent vs. 19 percent.

Leaned GOP women also show the sharpest increase in views that it’s a serious matter -- up by a vast 31 points, from 40 percent on Nov. 3 to 71 percent now.  Far fewer leaned Republican men, 52 percent, call it a serious matter, and that’s risen by just 14 points.

There are gender gaps in believability, as well.  Among all adults, men divide evenly on whom they tend to believe.  But women, by a wide 50-29 percent, say they’re more apt to believe those who’ve made charges against Cain than to side with his denials.

Leaned Republican women, likewise, are more disposed than are GOP men to believe Cain’s accusers.  Forty percent of these women do so, vs. just 22 percent of leaned Republican men.

One result, though, has not changed: About two-thirds of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the issue won’t affect their decision whether to support Cain for the presidential nomination.  Still, about a quarter say it makes them less likely to back him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov152011

Ex-Boyfriend of Cain Harassment Accuser Supports Her Account

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(SHREVEPORT, La.) -- The ex-boyfriend of Sharon Bialek, who claimed that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain had "touched her in an appropriate manner" more than a decade ago, came forward Monday to defend her claims.

Bialek, who has recently had her credibility and motives assailed from everyone from conservative pundits to Cain's wife Gloria, claims Mr. Cain made the unwanted advances when Bialek was seeking a job back at the National Restaurant Association he headed during the 1990's. Cain denied even knowing Bialek, and denied her claims -- as he did previously of women who said he made innapropriate comments to them while he headed up the organization.
 
Bialek's ex, Dr. Victor Zuckerman, appeared at a press conference in Shreveport, La. to say he could corroborate her story about being harassed by Cain. Zuckerman, a pediatrician and registered Republican, claimed that at the time of the alleged incident, Bialek told him about going out to dinner with Cain in Washington, D.C. and that he tried to touch her sexually while she sought reemployment at the restaurant association.

The doctor explained his reason for backing Bialek's account of what happened was to "aid the public in evaluating the statements previously made by Mr. Cain and Ms. Bialek."

Zuckerman said that he was not seeking any sort of monetary compensation for telling his story and in the interest of full disclosure, he had never been charged with malpractice or any crime although he did previously file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Bialek's financial woes had been seen by some, including conservative author Ann Coulter, as a possible motive for her to fabricate a smear against Cain.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Bialek, appeared with Zuckerman at the newser, telling reporters that it was time for Cain to admit he knows his client and describe the specifics of the incident that Bialek has spoken about.

Zuckerman added that he was the one who told Bialek to contact Allred, claiming his old girlfriend was "livid" when she heard Cain deny sexual harassment accusations made by other women.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov142011

Herman Cain's Wife Finally Set to Speak

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gloria Cain, the wife of GOP hopeful Herman Cain, has stayed out of the spotlight since her husband started running for the Republican nomination.  But with the GOP frontrunner in the midst of sexual harassment allegations and Cain’s supporters wanting to meet their possible future first lady, Gloria Cain is finally breaking her silence.

In an interview with Greta Van Susteren set to air Monday night on Fox News, Gloria Cain speaks publicly for the first time.  In the interview, which has already been taped, she reveals her thoughts on the sexual harassment allegations and the subsequent accusers who have come forward since the scandal broke two weeks ago.

Herman Cain has said that his wife is a very private person, and unlike other political wives would not be partaking in the rigors of the campaign trail.  He has campaigned alone while Gloria has stayed at home.  She also suffers from a serious heart condition and had a pacemaker implanted several years ago.

But Herman Cain maintains that his wife supports him 200 percent, even in light of sexual harassment allegations during his time as president of the National Restaurant Association.  Cain says that his wife was already aware of the allegations made back in 1999.

Gloria Cain told Van Susteren that she can’t see her husband doing the things that have been described by some of his accusers.

“You hear the graphic allegations and we know that would have been something that’s totally disrespectful of her as a woman,” says Gloria Cain.  “And I know the type of person he is.  He totally respects women.”

After listening to the barrage of accusations about her husband, Gloria Cain says, “I’m thinking he would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov102011

A Herman Cain First: Candidate and Staff Skip Spin Room Completely

Alex Wong/Getty Images(ROCHESTER, Mich.) -- After all of the eight previous Republican debates to date, Herman Cain was one of the few candidates to appear in the post-debate spin room himself, taking questions from media rather than sending a surrogate in his place.

But that wasn't the case on Wednesday: The businessman, currently trying to bat down accusations of sexual harassment, was not anywhere to be found in the spin room following the GOP debate at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.  It was the first time Cain has skipped a spin room this year.

In fact, nobody from Cain’s camp of representatives came to the spin room Wednesday night -- his corner of the room was completely void of staffers.

Reporters lingered by the door, hoping to catch a glimpse of Cain, only spotting his chief of staff Mark Block peering into the glass doors of the room but never entering.

Cain’s habit of coming to the spin room at debates is a rarity among his fellow candidates.  While Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman are regular attendees, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann never come.  Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul also avoid the spin room, instead sending spokespeople in their place.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has also never before been seen in the spin room this debate cycle, made a rare appearance Wednesday night to confront his debate flub.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov092011

Exclusive: Woman Recalls 'Very Odd Request' from Cain During Trip

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As Herman Cain struggles to move past allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior this week, a fifth woman has come forward with a story about her unusual experience almost a decade ago with the Republican presidential frontrunner.

In an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News, Donna Donella recalled what she alleges happened the day her path crossed with Cain, when the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza delivered an address at a seminar in Cairo, Egypt in late 2001.  Donella had helped organize the speech while working for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

"He came to Egypt, he gave his seminar, and then after he was done speaking, there was a Q and A portion and a woman in the audience asked a question," Donella said.  "Shortly after he left the stage, he approached a colleague and myself and said something to the effect of, 'Could you please put me in touch with the lovely young woman in the audience who asked me the question so I can give her a more detailed answer over dinner?'"

[Click here to watch ABC News' exclusive interview with Donna Donella]

Donella, who lives in Arlington, Va., and currently works as a management consultant, said she declined to set Cain up and thought it was "a very odd request and we were a little suspicious of his tone."

"The other colleague who was present was like, 'What are we?  We're not go-betweens, or matchmakers or anything like that.  That's not our role,'" she recalled.  "He was just onstage talking about what a family man he was and how important his Christian values were to him, and then he was just asking to go to dinner with a woman from the audience.  [His request] may have been innocent.  Maybe not."

Cain has been accused of sexual harassment by four women who worked at the National Restaurant Association when he was president and CEO of the trade group in the late 1990s.  He has categorically denied any inappropriate behavior.  During a press conference Tuesday, he said, "The charges and the accusations I absolutely reject.  They simply didn't happen."

Donella alleges that after she and her colleague refused to introduce Cain to the Egyptian woman, Cain swiftly turned his attention to Donella, and asked her to join him instead.

"He then said, 'Well then I'll have dinner with you because I hate to eat alone,'" Donella said.  "I think that my face indicated that I was uncomfortable with that and so my colleague jumped in and said, 'Let's all go to dinner.'"

"I thought that it was kind of suspicious that a married man was asking to have dinner with the woman from the audience, and then asked to have dinner with a single woman working on the project, so I was not comfortable with that," she said.  "As a woman, sometimes you have a feeling about these things that some men don't always have the purest of intentions and that was sort of the vibe that both my colleague and I had gotten, which is why we kept it as a group outing, which is why I didn't put myself in a situation where I'd be alone with him at all."

Donella, who was 31, attended the dinner with another female colleague and the colleague's husband, and remembers the occasion as "a fairly non-descript dinner" with the bulk of the conversation focusing on Egypt and Cain's experience as a businessman.

But when the check came, Donella claimed: "He went and ordered these two expensive bottles of wine and when the bill came, he did not make any moves towards the bill so we ended up having to pay it.   We had to pick that up."

Donella said she's not accusing Cain of harassing her personally, but she said that "the behavior that he displayed in Egypt was indicative of a pattern of behavior, or was consistent with a pattern of behavior" and she felt a moral obligation to come forward with her story.

"I, in good conscience, could not sit by and let him continue to call them liars and say it was all false accusations when I witnessed behavior, while not outright sexual harassment, but behavior that was consistent with their stories," Donella said.  "I think they're probably not lying.  I can't say that with 100 percent certainty, but from what I saw, I would have no problem believing that what they said is probably true."

"If he's this God-fearing Christian that he portrays himself to be, he should be honest…rather than attacking these women," she added.  "Where there's smoke there's fire."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov082011

Herman Cain Accuser Identified as Karen Kraushaar

(WASHINGTON) -- One of the women who received a cash settlement after accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment has been identified as federal government civil servant Karen Kraushaar, now a spokesperson for the Inspector General at the Internal Revenue Service.

Her attorney, Joel Bennett, said, "I cannot deny that," after her identity was reported by the website The Daily. Last week, Bennett said his client had reported a "series" of incidents involving Cain when she worked in the communications department of the National Restaurant Association, where Cain served as CEO from 1996 to 1999. Bennett said his client "preferred" not to be identified but did not want to try to "control the media."

Kraushaar told The New York Times in an interview published Tuesday afternoon that she planned to go public now that her name is known.

"When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you are extremely vulnerable," she said. "You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself into a job someplace safe and that is what I thought I had achieved when I left."

She said that her own allegations should be considered part of a "body of evidence" with those of Cain's other accusers.

On Friday, Bennett said during a press conference that "Mr. Cain knows the specifics" of the harassment complaint that she had filed against him in 1999. "It had very specific incidents in it. If he chooses not to remember or to not acknowledge those, that's his issue." The NRA had waived the confidentiality agreement that barred her from discussing the complaint, but she elected not to go public.

Bennett said he did not want to characterize "what was physical and what was verbal," but that Cain's behavior "qualified as sexual harassment in our opinion."

Now 55, Kraushaar has authored a children's book, is married and lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. Prior to working for the NRA, she'd been a reporter and editor and had worked for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. After receiving a five-figure settlement from the NRA and leaving the trade group, she went to work in communications for the Department of Justice, where she was the spokesperson for the agency during the Elian Gonzalez repatriation controversy. She then moved to the IRS, where she also worked in communications, and is now communications director for the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Cain said that all he could recall was making an innocuous gesture to Kraushaar while she was in his office with the door open and his secretary just outside. "I referenced this lady's height and I was standing near her, and I did this saying, you're the same height of my wife, because my wife is five feet tall and she comes up to my chin," Cain explained to CNN. "This lady's five feet tall and she came up to my chin. So obviously she thought that that was too close for comfort. It showed up in the actual allegation."

"Other than that, I can't even recall what some of the other things were," said Cain.

Politico reported that Kraushaar received a $45,000 payment from the trade group as part of a settlement that also included a promise of confidentiality. Politico did not identify her by name.

The Cain campaign has categorically denied all claims of sexual harassment. Most recently, after Sharon Bialek came forward to allege sexual harassment by Cain, campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon Cain responded with a statement that said, "All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone." Cain denied the allegations again in an interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC News, saying he did not even remember Bialek.

A second woman who accused Cain of sexual harassment while he was head of the NRA received a reported settlement of $35,000. Now in her 40s, she currently works as a registered lobbyist in New Jersey.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov082011

Cain Appears on 'Jimmy Kimmel'; Will Address Latest Accuser in Presser

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- In the midst of a barrage of sexual harassment allegations, including a forth accuser speaking out on Monday, Herman Cain made an appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night.

Kimmel devoted much of his opening monologue to the allegations made by Sharon Bialek, who is the latest woman to accuse Cain of sexual harassment during his tenure at the National Restaurant Association, and the first woman to come forward publicly in a press conference.

“Well all things considered, I’m still alive. It got off to somewhat of a rough start. We had a little surprise show up on TV,” Cain said.

In recent days Cain has refused to answer questions about the allegations, saying he wants to get his campaign “back on message.” But he did take questions from Kimmel regarding the sexual harassment allegations, announcing a press conference on Tuesday, and the need to set the record straight on this latest “firestorm.”

“At least it wasn’t one of the many that have the first name ‘Anonymous’ -- so now this one actually had a name and a face and we’re gonna see who it was and what it was, and tomorrow we’re gonna have a press conference,” Cain added.

Cain spoke about the amount of money he has raised since these allegations came out, describing record fundraising numbers. Kimmel asked Cain if he thought the other candidates would hire women to charge them with sexual harassment.

Cain joked, “If they’re smart they will.”

Cain also discussed his Chief of Staff Mark Block and the now-famous ad featuring him smoking a cigarette. Cain said that while the ad was not his idea, he still thought Mark was fantastic.

“He was convincing, and the little thing at the end, where he was kind of taking a puff … Well, we have a saying in my campaign: let Herman be Herman, let Mark be Mark, and let people be people. That’s really one of the themes of my whole campaign: he smokes. He wasn’t trying to tell anybody else to smoke. But that’s him. That was Mark being Mark,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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