Herman Cain’s sexual harassment scandal got worse today as a fourth woman came forward to accuse the Republican Presidential candidate of making inappropriate advances toward her while he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990′s. The woman, Sharon Bialek, appeared at a press conference accompanied by attorney Gloria Allred at the Friar’s Club in Manhattan. The scandalous press conference was briefly interrupted by Howard Stern’s henchman Benjy Bronk, who commandeered the podium prior to Ms. Bialek and Ms. Allred’s arrival.
“Want to be my Facebook friend?” Mr. Bronk asked a reporter who told him to leave.
Ms. Allred kept Ms. Bialek in another room and threatened to call security until Mr. Bronk left. As he walked out, he asked her to follow him on Twitter. Once Mr. Bronk departed, Ms. Allred and Ms. Bialek made their way to the podium through a crush of reporters.
Ms. Allred described Ms. Bialek as a “registered Republican.” Ms. Allred said Ms. Bialek encountered Mr. Cain “on at least three occasions” at the annual National Restaurant Association convention in 1997 while she was working for the group’s educational association. According to Ms. Allred, Ms. Bialek was “terminated” one month after the conference. Ms. Bialek said her boyfriend at the time recommended she ask Mr. Cain for help finding more work.
When she went to Washington, D.C. to meet Mr. Cain, Ms. Bialek said he surprised her by treating her to a deluxe hotel suite. Ms. Bialek said they went out for dinner at an Italian restaurant. Afterwards, Ms. Bialek said Mr. Cain offered to show her the headquarters of the National Restaurant Association. Ms. Bialek said Mr. Cain made his move when they were parked in his car.
“He suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg under my skirt and reached for my genitals. He also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch,” Ms. Bialek said.
When she spurned his advances, Ms. Bialek said Mr. Cain asked her, “You want a job right?”
Ms. Bialek told the assembled reporters she saw Mr. Cain “about a month ago” at a Tea Party conference in Chicago. She said she did not complain to the National Restaurant Association because she was no longer employed with them. Ms. Bialek said she was “coming forward” because she wants “to give a face and a voice to those who couldn’t come forward.” Two of Mr. Cain’s other accusers have been unable to discuss their complaints against him because of confidentiality agreements and settlements they signed with the NRA. Ms. Bialek didn’t take questions from reporters after the press conference.