A fourth woman has come forward to allege that Herman Cain sexually assaulted her.
The woman, Sharon Bialek, is the fourth woman who has accused Cain of sexually inappropriate behavior in the late 1990s and the first to go public with her charges. She outlined her story at a high-profile New York City press conference at the Friars Club.
“I want you, Mr. Cain, to come clean,” she said 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 said Cain put his hand under her skirt and pushed her head toward his crotch after a dinner together in 1997 after she asked to meet him to discuss ways he might be able to help her find employment. She said he backed away after she asked him to stop. Her boyfriend at the time on Monday issued a statement released by Allred confirming that she told him about the incident at the time. Allred did not release the boyfriend’s name.
Whether the allegation is true or not is increasingly irrelevant at this point, as the number of claims is beginning to outweigh the sketchiness of any specific allegation for many people.
The scandal is obviously hurting Cain’s chances, but could it be helping one of the other candidates? I posited on Twitter earlier.
Hmmmm… Cain scandal as palate cleanser, making Newt more acceptable?
Admit it: stranger things have happened.
Newt Gingrich is head and shoulders above any Presidential candidate in either party when it comes to an encyclopedic knowledge of American politics, and is one of the best pure debaters we’re likely to ever see. The biggest knock on Newt for many (myself included) have been his marital infidelities, which ruined him for many social conservatives.
But what will become of those who jumped on the “Cain Train,” if the candidate falters? Would Gingrich’s obvious goodwill towards Mr. Cain, perhaps convert Cainiacs into Gingrich fans? Could Cain’s alleged infidelities inoculate voters to Gingrich’s own incidents of infidelity?
It is all very much a hypothetical question at this point, but is one worth considering as the 2012 campaign – and the scandals -heat up.