Reports: Cain accuser ready to share story

One of the women who filed a sexual harassment complaint against Herman Cain is ready to share the details of what happened, but is prohibited from talking because of the terms of the settlement agreement, according to multiple reports.

Joel Bennett, an attorney for the woman, said Tuesday that he has asked the National Restaurant Association, on the woman's behalf, to release her from the settlement's confidentiality clause so she can speak openly about the allegations that have threatened to sink Cain's presidential campaign.

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“The National Restaurant Association ought to release them and allow them to respond," Bennett told The Washington Post.

Bennett did not respond to messages left on Tuesday, but the association replied in an email statement.

“We have seen media reports that attorney Joel Bennett is publicly making requests on behalf of a former National Restaurant Association employee. Mr. Bennett has not been in contact with the Association. If we are contacted by Mr. Bennett, we will respond as appropriate,” said Sue Hensley, a spokeswoman for the National Restaurant Association. 

Cain has spent the past 48 hours fighting allegations he sexually harassed two women who worked for him when he headed the association in the 1990s. Cain has denied ever sexually harassing anyone, but has changed his story considerably and repeatedly as new details have emerged. He first said he was unaware of any settlements reached in relation to complaints about him, but then recalled details about one of the two women's claims.

Bennett said the woman he represents attended an Ivy League school, lives in Maryland and works for the federal government. He said the woman is staying with relatives, because media organizations have camped outside her home. No media organizations have released the woman's name.

Bennett also noted that Cain may have already violated the confidentiality agreement himself, by talking about it in the national media.

Cain said he was only even aware of one of the cases, and hadn't violated any agreements by talking about it.

"One of them I didn't even know the name, and the one I was familiar with, I never mentioned the first person whatsoever, so I don't believe that I have," Cain said Tuesday on Fox News.

Cain also pushed back on those who have faulted him for changing his story about his knowledge of a settlement, saying it amounted to a parsing of the definition of the word "settlement."

"My recollection later was that there was an agreement. I made an assumption about the word settlement, that it was legal. I didn't think there was a legal settlement, but an agreement," Cain said.

He added that his campaign could have been better prepared to respond to the allegations. Politico, who first reported the allegations, has said it gave Cain's campaign 10 days notice before publishing its report.

This story was updated at 8:00 p.m.

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