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Cain Allegations: The Latest Developments

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain during an appearance on Wednesday (Nov. 3, 2011) in McLean, Va.
Alex Wong
Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain during an appearance on Wednesday (Nov. 3, 2011) in McLean, Va.

Catching up on the latest news about the allegations, which he says are false, that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed some women when he was heading the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s:

-- The campaign's response: Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon again said the candidate "has never acted in the way alleged by inside-the-Beltway media, and his distinguished record over 40 years spent climbing the corporate ladder speaks for itself." He said, as Cain also has, that the candidate is the subject of "baseless allegations."

-- A third woman: Meanwhile, a third woman has told The Associated Press that Cain made sexually suggestive remarks and gestures toward her when she worked with him at the association. According to the AP, the woman, who "spoke only on condition of anonymity, saying she feared losing her current job and the possibility of damage to her reputation ... said in interviews that Cain was aggressive and inappropriate with her, even extending a private invitation to his corporate apartment."

"The woman said she did not file a formal complaint against Cain because she began having fewer interactions with him," the wire service adds.

-- Another woman defends him:But another woman who worked with Cain at the association, the AP reports, says he was "a good boss." Christina Howard added she "felt no problem going into his office and asking for his advice."

-- A witness?As Frank James reported on It's All Politics, "Chris Wilson, a Republican political consultant who did work for the trade group when Cain was there and does work for super PAC supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential bid now, told KTOK, an Oklahoma news radio station, that he saw Cain harass a trade group employee more than once." KTOK adds that "Wilson said for legal reasons, he can not discuss details of the incident."

-- Cain blames Perry; Perry campaign responds: Cain on Wednesday accused his Republican rival Perry "of orchestrating the original report about allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior," Politico writes. "In separate appearances Wednesday evening, both Cain and his campaign manager, Mark Block, asserted that the Perry campaign was behind Politico's report Sunday that, as head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained about inappropriate behavior by Cain and ultimately signed confidential agreements that gave them financial payouts to leave the association."

A spokesman for the Perry campaign, Ray Sullivan, said "no one at our campaign was involved in this story in any way."

-- Statement coming from one woman?Joel P. Bennett, an attorney for one of the two women in the original Politico report about the allegations, told NPR and The New York Times that he is drafting a statement for his client and will consult with the restaurant association today about issuing it even though the settlement the woman reached when she left the association included a confidentiality agreement. Bennett has previously said his client believes Cain has not been telling the truth about what happened.

Update at 6:00 p.m. ET. Restaurant Association Decision Upcoming:

NPR's Liz Halloran reports at It's All Politics that theNational Restaurant Association should make a decision as to whether to release one of the women from a non-disclosure agreement.

Also, Politico reported that same woman received $45,000 to settle her complaint against Cain. The woman's attorney, Joel P. Bennett, would not "confirm or deny" the report to NPR.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.