The lawyer for one of two women who in the late 1990s accused Republican presidential contender Herman Cain of sexual harassment wants her side of the story to come out because she believes Cain has not been telling the truth about what happened, a lawyer who represents her said Tuesday on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.
First, though, attorney Joel P. Bennett said, the National Restaurant Association should release his client from the confidentiality agreement she signed on leaving the NRA — where the alleged harassment happened and which Cain headed at the time. Bennett told NPR's Liz Halloran earlier on Tuesday that Cain may have violated the terms of that agreement by commenting on its specifics in recent days, and that his client should now have the right to air her side.
The woman, Bennett said on CNN, is still "mulling" whether to step forward publicly or try to get her account told without revealing her name. According to The Washington Post this morning: "she ... is wary of her name becoming public. The woman 'did not create this story,' [a source familiar with her thinking] said, and she thinks she has been 'completely swept up in this hurricane' but is discussing with her family whether to make her story public."
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports this morning that the National Restaurant Association "gave $35,000 — a year's salary — in severance pay to a female staff member in the late 1990s after an encounter with Herman Cain, its chief executive at the time, made her uncomfortable working there, three people with direct knowledge of the payment said on Tuesday."
Cain, who has said several times in recent days that he has never sexually harassed anyone, said Monday that there may have been a "termination settlement" worth "maybe three months salary or something like that," given to one of the women.
He also said that he recalls only one woman complaining about his behavior and that the allegations "were all found to be baseless."
Accounts about the alleged harassment began with a weekend report from Politico.
Our It's All Politics blog is following developments.
Update at 9:25 a.m. ET. It's "Unlikely" His Client Will Be Giving Interviews Anytime Soon, Bennett Says:
USA Today's On Politics blog just reported that Bennett tells the newspaper that it's "unlikely" his client will be giving interviews to the news media any time soon and that she has asked him to stop speaking with reporters.
Tuesday night, Bennett told NPR's Halloran that he wouldn't be making any more statements about the case until after he meets with his client tonight.
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