Feminist lawyer holds a press conference for woman who claims she was groped by candidate in a car 14 years ago
Gloria Allred entered the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal Monday, introducing a fourth accuser who says that Cain made inapporpriate advances more than a decade ago.
Allred charged Cain with “actively lying to Americans” and said that when the accuser, Sharon Bialek, asked for a job, “Mr. Cain instead decided to try to provide her with his idea of a stimulus package.”
And what was that stimulus?
Bialek said she had had dinner with Cain in the summer of 1997 shortly after she lost her job at a foundation associated with the National Restaurant Assocation, which he ran at the time.
After dinner, Cain stopped his car outside the foundation's headquarters, and Bialek said Cain took her head and brought it to his crotch, asking her “You want a job, right?”
Bialek also says Cain put his hand under her skirt, reaching for her genitals.
This latest accusation comes eight days after Politico published its Herman Cain bombshell — in which two former employees accused the presidential candidate of sexual harassment. The Associated Press uncovered a third woman last week and then Allred jumped into the fray on Monday, hosting a press conference with yet another accuser.
As compared to the other allegations thus far, this would seem to be the most explicit case of sexual harassment or assault. It remains somewhat unclear what exactly Cain said or did to the other women, who have not come forward in so public a manner.
All three were former employees of Cain's at the National Restaurant Association.
GIven Allred's involvement — she has already begun appearing on a series of cable news shows — much of the conversation at Monday's press conference centered on Allred’s performance rather than the actual charges.
Reuters’ Jack Shafer tweeted, “Was Allred's presser a rainmaker for her legal practice?”
And it was Allred trending most on Twitter, not Bialek or Cain.
Salon’s Joan Walsh, a self-avowed lefty and feminist, tweeted, “Gloria Allred's "stimulus package" joke trivialized her client Sharon Bialek's actual disturbing story. Very dumb.”
Then again, it does keep the story in the news, which is the last thing Cain wants. He has yet to take a serious hit in the polls, but as Allred and Bialek make the media rounds that may change.
Cain issued a statement immediately following the press conference, dubbing the accusations “false” and said his policy proposals would overshadow “these bogus attacks.”
Over the weekend, while debating Newt Gingrich at a GOP event in Texas, Cain said the scandal was being propelled by "dishonest journalists."
Fox News host Sean Hannity has been an outspoken defender of Cain, and he reiterated on his radio show today that he believes this is an attempt to discredit Cain because he is an Africa-American conservative. Hannity's audio:
How long Cain can blame the "liberal" media remains to be seen, but if the number of accusers – now at four — hits nine, it could give new meaning to his “9-9-9 Plan.”