A fourth woman said Monday that presidential candidate Herman Cain engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with her more than decade ago, though Cain was not her supervisor at the time.
Sharon Bialek, the first woman to publicly accuse Cain of inappropriate behavior, said Cain was “sexually inappropriate” with her in 1997, saying he put his hand under her skirt and pushed her head toward his crotch after a dinner together. She said he backed away after she asked him to stop.
“I want you to come clean, Mr. Cain,” she said in a New York City press conference with her attorney, Gloria Allred at her side. Allred is known for her media savvy and for representing women who have had legal issues with the rich and powerful.
Bialek does not plan to sell her story or file a lawsuit against the Republican candidate for the White House. She said she was let go from the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation in the summer of 1997 and asked to meet him for coffee a month or so later in Washington, to ask for his assistance with her job search.
She said she booked herself a room at a hotel two blocks from the White House and when she checked in, it was upgraded to a suite by Cain. They went to dinner at an Italian restaurant and after dinner Cain made unwanted advances toward Bialek in the car.
When she asked what he was doing, she said he responded by rhetorically asking her: “You want a job, right?”
She said she made it clear she was not interested and Cain backed off.
Three other women have reportedly accused Herman Cain of inappropriate behavior while he was running the National Restaurant Association, but none has made public charges against him.
Allred last year represented Nicky Diaz Santillan, the housekeeper California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman fired because of her immigration status. She also represented one of the women who allegedly had an affair with golf legend Tiger Woods.
The latest accusations are likely to put more pressure on Cain to explain what happened with the women who worked for him at the restaurant group. Cain has denied any harassment occurred.
Before the press conference had concluded, Herman Cain’s campaign issued a statement calling the allegations “false.”
“Activist celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred is bringing forth more false accusations against the character of Republican front-runner Herman Cain,” the campaign said in a prepared statement.
“All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone,” the statement said.
Cain himself has sought to deflect questions on the matter, telling reporters on Saturday after a one-on-one debate in Texas with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that “we are getting back on message, end of story.”
“Far as we’re concerned, these allegations aren’t going anywhere,” Cain said Sunday on Fox News, “I mean people might make up some more stuff. We are in it to win it.”