Sharon Bialek’s ex: ‘I suggested … she should contact Gloria Allred’
Another elephant has entered the ring at presidential candidate Herman Cain’s sexual harassment circus.
At a press conference Monday afternoon in Shreveport, La., a former boyfriend of Sharon Bialek, one of the women accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment, corroborated what she has said happened between Bialek and Cain in 1997.
Bialek’s attorney Gloria Allred introduced Dr. Victor Zuckerman, saying his decision to come forward was a direct result of Cain’s denial of the sexual harassment charges against him. Allred specifically noted Cain’s claim about Bialek that “I don’t even know who this woman is.”
“After Mr. Cain reviews Dr. Zuckerman’s statement, he needs to be honest and forthcoming with the public about the fact that he does know Sharon Bialek,” Allred said. “In addition, he needs to admit all of the details of what happened when she met with him in Washington, D.C. in 1997. Further, he should fully disclose to the public the specifics of the allegations that were made against him by the two other women who alleged sexual harassment by Mr. Cain and received settlements from the National Restaurant Association after they made their allegation.”
According to Allred, Cain’s “strategy of blanket denials simply won’t work.”
A pediatrician and self-proclaimed Republican, Zuckerman confirmed Bialek’s story, recalling how the pair first met Cain at the National Restaurant Association convention. He confirmed that Bialek reached out to Cain, at his suggestion, for help finding a new job.
Bialek has contended that during that meeting, Cain attempted to reach up her skirt and pull her head toward his groin. Zuckerman said that Bialek was shaken when she returned from that meeting, now 14 years in the past. (RELATED: Mrs. Cain speaks: My husband ‘totally respects women’)
“I can confirm that when she returned, she was upset. She said that something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner,” said Zuckerman. “She said she handled it but did not want to talk about it anymore. I respected her request and this issue was never brought up until recently.”
Bialek’s then-boyfriend explained that the pair have remained friends although they broke up shortly after her run-in with Cain. He also said it was his idea to involve Allred when other allegations of sexual harassment against Cain began surfacing several weeks ago.
“When Cain came to the national spotlight, we reminded each other that this was the man we had met so many years earlier,” Zuckerman said. “A few week later the news reported that there had been sexual harassment allegations by two female NRA employees against Herman Cain while he was president of the NRA. I remembered that Sharon had had a bad experience with him, and called to ask her if she was one of the accusers. She said ‘no.’”
According to Zuckerman, Bialek was “livid” at Cain’s denials of the other women’s claims and felt she had to go public about her experiences.
“I suggested that if she was going to speak out she should contact Gloria Allred,” he said adding, “Sharon did make that call.”
Zuckerman noted that he has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but that all his payments are current. He also said he has not been paid to come forward by anyone, nor has he ever been charged with a crime or malpractice.
On Monday night Cain’s wife Gloria Cain will appear on the Fox News Channel’s “On the Record” to defend his character.
In excerpts provided by Fox in advance of the interview Mrs. Cain asserts that her businessman husband “totally respects women” and “would have to have a split personality to do the things that were said.”
But Allred sees only one way out for Herman Cain.
“He wants to end this? Let him come clean,” she said.