News / USA

New Accuser Goes Public Against US Presidential Contender

Sharon Bialek, a Chicago-area woman, during a news conference at the Friars Club in New York, Nov. 7, 2011.
Sharon Bialek, a Chicago-area woman, during a news conference at the Friars Club in New York, Nov. 7, 2011.
Bernard Shusman

In a hastily called New York news conference Monday, a fourth woman publicly accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of inappropriate sexual behavior.  Unlike the other three women, this woman became a first person to tell her story publicly.   

Her name is Sharon Bialek.  She is a single mother from Chicago who worked for an educational foundation of the National Restaurant Association.  She worked there during the time Herman Cain ran the association.  It was in 1997.  

Bialek lost her job at the foundation and ultimately met with Cain in Washington in an effort to get another job with the restaurant association.  

Bialek alleges that after dinner at a Washington restaurant, Cain became sexually inappropriate with her.  Why did she wait until now to come forward?

“I did not file a complaint against Mr. Cain as these other women did, since I was not employed at the foundation when this occurred," said Bialek. "But I am coming forward now to give a face and a voice to those women who cannot or do not wish to come forward and on behalf of all women in the workplace who are sexually harassed, but do not come forward out of fear of retaliation and public humiliation.”

On Monday, the Cain campaign issued a statement denying that he had harassed Bialek.  Recently, Cain spoke at the National Press Club about the earlier allegations.

“I have never sexually harassed anyone and those accusations are totally false," said Cain.

Cain, a former pizza company executive, continues his campaign for the Republican Party presidential nomination.  Recent opinion surveys show that the harassment scandals have done little damage to his standing among Republican voters.

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