A woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s wants to tell her side of the story. The woman is asking to be released from a non-disclosure agreement she signed as part of her settlement that prevents her from talking about the matter.
Joel P. Bennett, an attorney for the woman, tells the Washington Post he's asking for the NRA to release his client from the confidentiality agreement. Bennett contends that Cain violated the terms of the pact when he talked about the case and described his client and her position at the association.
"It is just frustrating that Herman Cain is going around bad-mouthing the two complainants, and my client is blocked by a confidentiality agreement," Bennett told the Post. "The National Restaurant Association ought to release them and allow them to respond."
The NRA said in a statement Tuesday night it had not yet heard from Bennett and would weigh his request when he makes it.
Bennett told reporters for various news outlets, including the Post, that his client is a federal worker now living in suburban Maryland and is "happily married." He said she's wary of public scrutiny over the story, but wants the ability to rebut claims made by Cain, who this week called the harassment allegations "false" and "baseless."
The lawyer insisted his client did not tip off the media about the harassment claims.
"My understanding is a present or former board member of the National Restaurant Association leaked the story to Politico," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
In interviews this week, Cain has implied at least one of the harassment claims came after he told a female coworker at the NRA that she was as tall as his wife. It's unclear which woman he was referring to. A source tells the Post that Bennett's client is taller than Cain's wife and that her claim filed against Cain and the NRA was based on months of harassment rather than on one isolated incident.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported Cain's other accuser was paid $35,000—one year's salary—to settle her harassment claim. The 2012 candidate has not talked publicly about that incident, insisting in a Fox News interview Tuesday that he was not aware she had filed a complaint against him.
But four unnamed sources tell the Times at least one incident in that complaint occurred after a work outing that had involved "heavy drinking."
In a Fox News interview Tuesday, Cain defended his evolving explanations about the harassment claims, insisting that his memory was fuzzy about one incident. He repeated his claim that he was unaware of the other complaint.
Asked whether he violated the non-disclosure agreement the NRA had signed with at least one of the accusers, Cain insisted he had not because he hadn't divulged her name.
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