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GOP presidential contender Herman Cain refused Sunday to directly deny reports that he was sexually harassed two female employees of the National Restaurant Association while he served as the association’s chief executive officer in the 1990s.
Cornered outside the CBS Washington studios after an appearance on “Face the Nation, Cain first refused comment on the report and then, instead of answering a question on whether or not he has been accused of sexual harassment, Cain shot back at the reporter: “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment.”
Cain’s campaign spokesman, however, is denying the report from the web site Politico that said Cain was charged with sexual harassment by two female employees and that the association shelled out five-figure settlements to both.
“Inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain,” campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon said in a written statement. “Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.”
However, sources within the association confirmed to Capitol Hill Blue over the weekend that the reports are true and that other female employees complained about Cain’s suggestive remarks and sexual innuendos.
“He was always on the make,” says one former female staff member at the association. “We would make inappropriate remarks about women’s bodies and attire.”
The former staffer said new female employees were warned to avoid being alone with Cain.
“I was afraid of him,” she said. “So were others.”