Video: Cain accuser: Money isn’t behind this

  1. Transcript of: Cain accuser: Money isn’t behind this

    CURRY: All right, Kelly O'Donnell , thank you so much . Well, Sharon Bialek is now with us, along with her attorney Gloria Allred . Good morning to both of you.

    Ms. GLORIA ALLRED: Good morning, Ann.

    CURRY: Lots to get to. First, let's address immediately this -- your response to the Cain campaign calling you, quote, "a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties and personal bankruptcy." You have filed for bankruptcy twice. Is your coming forward a part of any kind of financial motivation?

    Ms. BIALEK: Absolutely not. And you know what, I had spoken to Gloria about this before. There's no -- there were no skeletons in my closet. I told her that this may come up and I expected this. This is -- this is what happens. It's not about me. I'm not the one running for president.

    CURRY: Well, did -- on that point...

    Ms. ALLRED: But it's also important -- it's also important to know that she could have sold her story. She, like millions of Americans, has financial difficulty, she's up front about that.

    CURRY: Point taken.

    Ms. ALLRED: She didn't though, because she wants to just tell the truth.

    CURRY: But -- point taken. Did anyone with the other campaigns encourage you to speak out?

    Ms. BIALEK: No, absolutely not. I came of my own volition.

    CURRY: Then why after an event you say happened 14 years ago are you only coming forward now?

    Ms. BIALEK: Well, there's a variety of reasons. Number one, Ann , when this happened, the first reaction is you're embarrassed. Number two, I had a boyfriend at the time, we did discuss it briefly although I didn't share the details with him and he said, 'it's going to be one of those he said/she said things. And you got to remember this was the late '90s so we still weren't -- and unfortunate we're still not where we should be in these types of cases...

    CURRY: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. BIALEK: ...so that -- for those reasons.

    CURRY: You're absolutely sure that he used the words "You want a job, right" those were his exact words?

    Ms. BIALEK: Yes.

    CURRY: Well, the Cain campaign, as you know, has since disputed this saying in a statement, quote, "All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone." What is your reaction to that?

    Ms. BIALEK: I think maybe Mr. Cain 's definition of harassment might be different. Maybe he doesn't feel he harassed them.

    CURRY: Well, Gloria , does this actually technically qualify as harassment? You know, Sharon no longer worked for the National Restaurant Association ?

    Ms. ALLRED: Well, she may have had rights nonetheless because she was seeking his help in getting a job. But the real question, Ann , is, you know, should the public believe the word of four different women, two of whom filed claims of sexual harassment and received settlements for them or the word of one man who has a motive to deny.

    CURRY: Well, here's another question that's being raised by the right. The question as you just heard it reported in Kelly 's report that this is a part of partisan politics, that you, Gloria , just before the California election for governor, you held a news conference with Republican Meg Whitman 's fired housekeeper who was an illegal immigrant and she lost the election. I mean, and you've also contributed thousands of dollars to Barack Obama and also to Hillary Clinton . So is this a politically motivated effort on your behalf to represent Sharon ?

    Ms. ALLRED: Absolutely not because the last big news conference I did in New York was against Congressman -- Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner . And my client said that he should resign, that he had sent her sexual messages and that was one of the reasons that she thought he should resign. I've also criticized President Clinton when he lied to the American public. So if a man commits an injustice against a woman, sexual harassment , which, by the way is no joke although apparently Herman Cain wants to make it a laughing matter, then I am going to speak out against them if they're Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or no party at all.

    CURRY: All right. Gloria Allred and Sharon Bialek , thank you so much .

    Ms. BIALEK: Thank you, Ann.

    CURRY: I know this is not the last we're going to hear about this, so we'll say how this proceeds.

Image: Herman Cain, Gloria Cain
David Goldman  /  AP, file
Gloria Cain, left, accompanies her husband Herman Cain as he announces his run as a Republican candidate for president in Atlanta on May 21, 2011.
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 11/8/2011 7:55:22 AM ET 2011-11-08T12:55:22

Herman Cain's wife Gloria was "disgusted" by allegations he sexually harassed women but remained "200 percent supportive of me," the GOP presidential contender told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.

In remarks made Thursday, but broadcast Monday night, Cain added that she was "still 200 percent my wife."

He said his wife was "handling this as I expected her to."

Cain complained to O'Reilly about "media scrutiny over insignificant stuff." The remarks to O'Reilly were reported on ABC News' website.

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The interview took place before the emergence of the first named accuser, Sharon Bialek. She is the fourth woman to say she was harassed by Cain.

Bialek's detailed and lurid accusations — that Cain groped her in a car after she asked for his help finding a job — spun his already embattled campaign into an uncertain new territory.

Fourth woman accuses Cain of harassment

"He deserves a fair chance. But that doesn't mean he gets a pass. These are not anonymous allegations anymore unfortunately," said New Hampshire conservative activist Jennifer Hor, who last week had condemned media coverage of the allegations against Cain. "I think he does need to take another step and answer a few more questions."

Cain told late night host Jimmy Kimmel that's exactly what he plans to do as he fights the claims head-on at a news conference slated for Tuesday afternoon in a Phoenix hotel.

Video: Why Herman Cain's 'Act II' doesn't exist (on this page)

"There is not an ounce of truth to all these allegations," he said on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" "I'm going to set the record straight."

'Totally fabricated'
Cain told Kimmel he got angry and disgusted as he watched Bialek and her attorney, Gloria Allred. He said Bialek's graphic account was "totally fabricated."

Bialek's nationally broadcast appearance on cable television marked a new and — for Cain — dangerous turn in a controversy that he has struggled for more than a week to shed. An upstart in the presidential race, Cain shot to the top of public opinion polls in recent weeks and emerged, however temporarily, as the main conservative challenger to Mitt Romney.

Story: Cain's support dips after sex accusations

Earlier Monday, the Cain camp flatly denied the charges. "Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone," spokesman J.D. Gordon said in a statement.

And they insisted that the newest allegation changed nothing and said they were still planning to attend a private speech in Phoenix Tuesday morning and a debate Wednesday night in Michigan.

"We are staying on message and talking about the issues," Gordon told The Associated Press.

Bialek, in a separate interview Monday, said she had hoped Cain would announce a press conference after her statement to apologize to her. But instead she learned he issued the stern denial.

Video: Bank Transfer Day, Herman Cain and Andy Rooney (on this page)

"I know what happened, and he knows what happened," Bialek said on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight. "One of my whole objectives was to give him the opportunity to come forward, to redeem himself, say, 'Hey, I'm sorry. I did this. It happened. And let's move forward.' And it is unfortunate. I'm very disappointed that he didn't take the lead in this."

When asked if Cain should be president, Bialek said: "I don't think we can have anyone in the White House who is unable to tell the truth."

Soon after Bialek aired her accusations at a news conference in New York with Allred by her side, the Cain campaign released a new web video — targeting voters in the lead-off caucus state of Iowa — highlighting what they say are excessive federal regulations on farmers that are driving up costs for consumers.

But the campaign also appeared to hunker down in damage control mode. Voicemails for Gordon and campaign manager Mark Block were full by Monday afternoon.

Bialek is the fourth woman to say that Cain engaged in inappropriate behavior during his time at the helm of the National Restaurant Association.

Two women who worked there filed sexual harassment complaints.

A third woman told The Associated Press last week that she considered filing a workplace complaint against Cain over what she deemed sexually suggestive remarks and gestures that included a private invitation to his corporate apartment.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former party chairman, told NBC's "Meet the Press" that "people need to know what the facts are." He said Cain should "get those out as quickly as possible."

The Associated Press and NBC News contributed to this report.

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