The lawyer for the woman who in 1999 accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment said Friday that the then-CEO had not told the truth about his actions, but his client did not want to relive the “series of inappropriate behaviors” by coming forward.
“In 1999, I was retained by a female employee of the National Restaurant Association concerning several instances of sexual harassment by the then-CEO,” attorney Joel Bennett told reporters. “She made a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the CEO. Those complaints were resolved in an agreement with her acceptance of a monetary settlement. She and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now, nor in discussing the matter any further, publicly or privately. In fact, it would be extremely painful to do so. … My client stands by the complaint she made.”
Bennett added that his client believed that this statement refuted the Republican presidential candidate’s claim that no sexual harassment had taken place.
“I don’t remember the exact time period of the incidents, but it was over a period of a month or two as I recall. … We’re not going to get into what was physical and what was verbal. It qualified as sexual harassment in our opinion.”
Moments after Bennett spoke to reporters, the National Restaurant Association released a statement saying the organization had been willing to waive their confidentiality agreement.
“Notwithstanding the Association’s ongoing policy of maintaining the privacy of all personnel matters, we have advised Mr. Bennett that we are willing to waive the confidentiality of this matter and permit Mr. Bennett’s client to comment,” the statement said. “As indicated in Mr. Bennett’s statement, his client prefers not to be further involved with this matter and we will respect her decision.”
Watch this video from CNN’s The Situation Room, recorded Nov. 4, 2011.