A woman who claims Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain groped her when she went to him for help finding a job accused Cain on Wednesday of having "complete amnesia" in saying he did not remember her. Sharon Bialek, who spoke to reporters outside her suburban Chicago home, said when asked about Cain’s comments that he didn’t know her that he was lying.
Accuser says Herman Cain has ‘complete amnesia’
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"The man has complete amnesia, and I really believe that he believes in himself," she said. "Pathological liars usually do those kinds of things."
Bialek said she was "so proud" of another of Cain’s accusers, Karen Kraushaar, for coming forward by name. Two other women who say Cain behaved improperly toward them have not been identified publicly.
Bialek has said she approached Cain after he gave a speech at a Chicago-area tea party event several weeks ago. She denied reports that she hugged him at the event, saying instead that she grabbed his arm and whispered in his ear.
She told WMAQ-TV in Chicago in an interview broadcast Wednesday evening that Cain told her at the Tea Party event that he remembered her.
At a news conference in New York on Monday, Bialek said Cain made a sexual advance one night in July 1997, when she went to Washington to meet him and ask for help finding work. The encounter allegedly occurred while the two were in a car.
"Instead of going into the offices he suddenly reached over and he put his hand on my leg, under my skirt toward my genitals," she said. "He also pushed my head toward his crotch," she added.
Cain, a businessman and former National Restaurant Association executive, has insisted that he did not sexually harass anyone.
He has denied Bialek’s allegations and said Tuesday that he didn’t know who she was until her news conference. His campaign has sought to undercut Bialek’s credibility, sending a statement Tuesday that brought up her court battles in Cook County and reports of her involvement in a paternity case and a personal bankruptcy filing.
Bialek has primary custody of her 13-year-old son. The father of the boy is West Naze, an executive with News Corp.-owned News America Marketing. Both parents have battled in court over child support payments and custody. Naze did not return several phone calls seeking comment.
"My whole intention in this whole ordeal was to do just that, to make sure that there’s a voice," Bialek said Wednesday. "And if I had to be the first one, so be it. I totally hope it doesn’t damage my reputation, but if I have to, fine."
Bialek is the youngest of four sisters, said her brother-in-law, Mark Smith. In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Smith called the firestorm after Bialek came forward Monday "really overwhelming."
"I don’t like the way people are looking at my sister-in-law, looking at her finances and all that," he said. "She’s not looking for a penny. She’s just looking for an apology from Mr. Herman Cain."
Joel Bennett, Kraushaar’s attorney, has said he hopes to have all four women appear at a joint news conference. Bialek said Wednesday morning that she hadn’t decided whether or not to join the conference, saying she had to consult with her attorney, Gloria Allred. Allred did not return messages seeking comment.