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Cain: Gloria 'still 200 percent my wife'

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.
/ Source: NBC, msnbc.com and news services

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 .

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.

"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.

"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.

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.

"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."