Attorney says Cain violated deal, allowing accuser to speak

The lawyer for one of the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment said his client might get a chance to speak publicly about the allegations because the GOP presidential candidate violated the confidentiality agreement between the two.

Attorney Joel Bennett told CBS’s "The Early Show" on Wednesday that his client hasn’t spoken publicly because of the confidentiality agreement, but that Cain’s comments might have cleared a path.

“There was more than one incident that my client received sexual harassment,” Bennett said. “She would like to speak out for the record, only because Mr. Cain has stated that he didn’t sexually harass anyone, that there wasn’t any substance to the allegations, and basically made it look like she was some type of frivolous claimant looking for money.”

ADVERTISEMENT
According to Bennett, one of the stipulations of the confidentiality agreement was that neither party could make disparaging remarks about the other. Bennett said Cain violated that agreement on Fox News on Monday when he said that he had been told that the accuser’s performance in the workplace “was not up to par.”

“I think she’s upset about his statements and would like the record to be balanced and clear,” Bennett said.

Bennett told The Hill he would be meeting with his client Wednesday evening and would have more to say following their discussion.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Cain’s other accuser received a full year’s salary, worth between $35,000 and $40,000, as a part of her severance package.

Cain was accused of sexual harassment by two female employees when he headed the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s.

Since the story first broke, Cain has been under fire for offering conflicting details about the financial settlements reached with his accusers.


More from The Hill:


On Monday morning Cain claimed that he was “unaware of any sort of settlement” stemming from harassment charges. Later in the day, Cain said he was aware of a “termination settlement” but rejected the allegations, offering details about one incident.

“I just started to remember more — in 12 years a lot can go through your head,” he told Fox News earlier this week.
 
The Cain campaign has used the controversy as a rallying cry, and says it hauled in over $400,000 on the day the story broke. Cain has speculated that a rival campaign is behind the harassment claims resurfacing and has said that he is the victim of an “intended smear campaign.”

Cain told Fox News on Tuesday that he believed there was a racial aspect to media coverage of the controversy, although he admitted he didn’t have any evidence to support the claim.

On Tuesday, Americans for Herman Cain, a super-PAC unaffiliated with his campaign, sent out a fundraising letter that called the allegations a “high-tech lynching” to “take down any black man who stands up for conservative values.”

-- This story was updated at 1:06 p.m.

-- Josh Lederman contributed.

More in News

Justice Dept.: NC's 'bathroom law' violates Civil Rights Act

Read more »