Sharon Bialek becomes first named accuser of Herman Cain
With the famous, bomb-throwing attorney Gloria Allred by her side, a fourth woman came forward Monday to charge Herman Cain with sexual harassment, giving full details on the alleged incident.
Sharon Bialek is the first woman to give her name and speak publicly about what she is alleging the GOP front-runner did to her while he was head of the National Restaurant Association.
Allred introduced her client, Bialek, as a Republican, full-time, single mom and commended her client for coming forward to tell about Cain’s “idea of a ‘stimulus package.’”
“Our client is very brave to have come forward. … She could have attempted to sell her story,” said Allred, “but chose not to do so. She knows that by stepping into the light, that she will face public scrutiny. We applaud her for her courage.”
“If all of these allegations,” Allred continued, “by all of the women who have been reported to have made them are true, then I, for one, am disgusted by Mr. Cain’s serial sexual harassment of women, because Mr. Cain, while running for president, is actively lying to Americans, showing disdain for our common sense and intellect, and showing that he could care less about the impact of his behavior or the dignity of these women.”
Allred held up sworn declarations from Bialek’s then-boyfriend, a doctor, and a businessman from Chicago — both whom Bialek told of the incident shortly after Cain’s alleged harassment.
Bialek explained that while working in the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, she sat next to Cain during four dinners at the National Restaurant Association convention where they spent a good deal of time speaking and becoming acquainted. She was fired from the association a month later.
At the urging of her then-boyfriend, she reached out to Cain for help finding a new job in mid-July of 1997. (RELATED: From nipple rings to Borat’s etiquette coach: Gloria Allred’s greatest hits)
Bialek said that while on a visit to see her boyfriend’s family she traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet Cain for job help. When she arrived in D.C. she was surprised to find that Cain had “upgraded” the room her boyfriend had gotten for her at the Capitol Hilton to a “palatial suite.”
She met Cain in the lobby for drinks. The pair then dined at an Italian restaurant where Bialek explained to Cain why she was there: She needed help finding a new job.
Bialek said that in the car after dinner, Cain made a pass at her while he was supposed to be showing her the National Restaurant Association headquarters. She said that instead of going inside the National Restaurant Association building, Cain reached up her skirt and tried to pull her head toward his crotch.
When she refused, Cain allegedly replied, “You want a job, right?”
Bialek said he stopped when she refused and he took her back to her hotel.
She said the last time that she saw Cain was at a Chicago Tea Party conference a month ago. Bialek said that when she asked if he remembered her, he was visibly uncomfortable.
“I guess I wanted to see if he was man enough to own up to what he had done 14 years ago,” she said.
Bialek added that as she listened to his speech at the Tea Party conference, she wondered if he had done the same type of thing to any other women.
“I hoped for his sake and his candidacy that mine was an isolated incident and that he had not exhibited those behaviors with any other women. I did not file a complaint against Mr. Cain, as some of the other women did, because I was not employed by the foundation when this occurred, but now I am coming forward to give a face and a voice to those women who cannot or, for whatever reason, do not, wish to come forward,” she said. “And on behalf of all women who are sexually harassed in the workplace, but do not come out in fear of retaliation or public humiliation.”
Bialek had a message for Cain: “I really didn’t want to be here today and wouldn’t have been here were it not for the three other women who have alleged sexual harassment against Mr. Cain,” she said. “I want you, Mr. Cain, to come clean. Just admit what you did. Admit you were inappropriate.”
The Cain campaign denied the allegations in a statement issued before the end of the press conference.
“All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone,” the campaign contended.