Herman Cain Claims He Doesn't Remember Ever Meeting Sharon Bialek; Blames "False Allegations" on "Democrat Machine"
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain met with reporters at a Scottsdale hotel this afternoon to address the most-recent sexual harassment allegations against him. According to Cain, he has no recollection of ever meeting his latest accuser, Sharon Bialek, and blames the "democrat machine" for putting Bialek -- and three other women -- up to falsely accusing him of sexual harassment.
"I tried to remember if I recognized her, and I didn't. I tried to remember if I remembered [her] name, and I didn't," Cain told reporters. "The charges and accusations are absolutely reject -- they simply didn't happen. They simply did not happen."
Bialek is the fourth woman to accuse Cain of sexual harassment. She claims Cain got a little grabby after the two had dinner together in 1997 -- she says Cain put his hand up her skirt and pushed her head towards his crotch. More on that here.
"The fact is, these anonymous allegations are false. And now the Democrat machine in America has brought forth a troubled woman to make false allegations -- statements -- many of which exceed common sense, and they certainly exceed the standards of decency in America."
As reporters in the room acknowledged, each of the accusations against Cain -- at this point -- are merely a game of "he said, she said."
Of the four women to accuse Cain of sexual harassment, only two have revealed their identities -- Bialek and a woman named Karen Kraushaar, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Treasury Department.
Today, Kraushaar identified herself in an interview with the New York Times after she says her name had leaked into press reports of the allegations against Cain.
"When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you are extremely vulnerable," she tells the Times. "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."
Cain, this afternoon, acknowledged that he knew Kraushaar, but says he never sexually harassed her -- or anyone else. According to Cain, the only gesture he ever made to the woman happened in his office -- with the door open.
"I gestured standing near her 'you're the same height as my wife,'" Cain says, as he held his hand at neck level, indicating the height of his wife -- and apparently Kraushaar. "Because my wife comes up to my chin. That was the one gesture that I remember. The door was open, my secretary was there, it wasn't anything behind closed doors."
So who's behind these allegations against the GOP frontrunner for the White House? Cain seems to think it's the "Democrat machine," although he later distanced himself from the idea that the allegations were part of a conspiracy.
"Some people don't want to see Herman Cain get the Republican nomination and some people don't want to see Herman Cain become president of the United States," he explains. "As you know, when you run for the highest office in the land, there are gonna be some accusations that are gonna come out of the woodwork...I have said this before, there will probably be others. Not because I'm aware of any but because the machine to keep a businessman out of the White House is going to be relentless.
"I cannot say that is a conspiracy -- we can only infer that someone is basically trying to wreck my character...and plant doubt in the minds of a lot of the people who are gonna go to the polls and vote."
Cain says he'll voluntarily take a lie detector test to prove the allegations are false.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.