Presidential candidate Herman Cain continued his defense against allegations of sexual harassment while he was head of the National Restaurant Association Monday night, telling Fox News Greta Van Susteren he recalled accusations made by one woman during his tenure, and that some settlement was reached.
Cain again called claims he had harassed two women while he was CEO of the association “baseless,” said he didn’t remember the name of the woman who made the accusation he acknowledged, or that he even recalled the second claim.
Politico reported on Sunday that two employees claimed that sexually suggestive behavior by Cain had made them “angry and uncomfortable.” The two employees reportedly signed agreements giving them financial payouts, and they left the association. Cain was president and CEO of the association from late 1996 to 1999.
“I have never sexually harassed anybody in my life — and this formal charge was made — and then once it was made, I recused myself and turned it over to my general counsel and one of the other executives that worked for me, the lady in charge of human resources, and asked them to investigate — and they did,” Cain said.
“The charge was filed — they did investigate — it was found to be baseless. And yes, there was some sort of settlement or termination — and I don’t even know what the contents of that was,” he said. “Since it was found baseless, there was no big settlement or it would have had to have come to me.”
“I can’t even remember her name, but I do remember the formal allegation she made in terms of sexual harassment,” Cain continued. “She was in my office one day, and I made a gesture saying — and I was standing close to her — and I made a gesture saying, ‘You are the same height as my wife.’ And I brought my hand up to my chin saying my wife comes up to my chin.”
Cain told Van Susteren he couldn’t recall who reached the conclusion the charges were baseless as he was “busy running the association,” but he was told by the group’s counsel that witnesses had not come forward to corroborate the harassment claims.
“I’m totally unaware as to any formal charges coming from this other person. And the other woman — the name is not mentioned in Politico — but Politico shared the name of this other lady with my staff, so I know the name of the person that’s alleged to be the other one,” Cain said. “She had been a longer-term employee — but I have no knowledge that she made a formal complaint or accusation or anything like that.”
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