Herman Cain went on the offensive against one of his sexual harassment accusers just hours before he was scheduled to go public today with his first detailed statements about the allegations that threaten to derail his presidential bid.
This afternoon, Cain’s campaign sent out a hard-hitting news release headlined “Who is Sharon Bialek?” detailing the background of the woman who went public with her claims at a New York press conference on Monday.
The emailed release denounced Bialek’s claim that he put his hand up her skirt and pushed her face down to his lap as “patently false,” giving an indication that Cain will not yield in his assertions that all the allegations that have surfaced have no basis.
“As Ms. Sharon Bialek has placed herself in the public spotlight through making patently false allegations against Herman Cain, it is only fair to compare her track record alongside Mr. Cain’s,” the release said.
“In stark contrast to Mr. Cain’s four decades spent climbing the corporate ladder rising to the level of CEO at multiple successful business enterprises, Ms. Bialek has taken a far different path.
“The fact is that Ms. Bialek has had a long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances — which may help explain why she has come forward 14 years after an alleged incident with Mr. Cain, powered by celebrity attorney and long term Democrat donor Gloria Allred.”
The news release lists six lawsuits in which it alleges that Bialek has been a defendant, as well as mentioning that she was sued in a “paternity matter” and had filed for bankruptcy.
Bialek has worked for nine employers during the past 17 years, the news release alleges.
“Curiously, if Ms. Bialek had intended to take legal action, the statute of limitations would have passed a decade ago. Which brings up the question of why she would make such reprehensible statements now?
“The questions should be — who is financing her legal team, have any media agreed to pay for her story, and has she been offered employment for taking these actions?”
Bialek, who worked for the National Restaurant Association’s education foundation at the time Cain was the association’s CEO in the late 1990s, became the public face of the women accusing Cain when she appeared at the press conference.
Two other women who were paid to quit their jobs at the association after making formal complaints alleging harassment had remained anonymous until Tuesday when the identity of one, Karen Kraushaar, was revealed by the iPad website The Daily.
Cain was scheduled to face the media at a news conference at 5 p.m. Eastern time today in Phoenix, Ariz.
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