The ex-boyfriend of Sharon Bialek corroborated the sexual harassment allegations that Bialek made against Herman Cain, saying at a Monday press conference that Cain did in fact know the Chicago woman, something he has repeatedly denied.
Victor Zuckerman, who identified himself as a pediatrician and a registered Republican, said that Bialek spent time with Cain, and that he remembers her saying that she was seated next to Cain at a dinner, and ”had opportunities to speak to him at length.”
“She told me I needed to meet this man of warmth, of wit,” he recalled, adding that Cain later told them about the release of his gospel album in 1997.
After Bialek lost her job at the fundraising arm of the educational foundation at the National Restaurant Association, it was Zuckerman who advised her to reach out to Cain, the former head of the NRA in the mid 1990s, for help.
Bialek claims that during her trip to Washington for job advice, Cain groped her in a car.
“I can confirm that when she returned, she was upset, she said that something had happened and the Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner,” Zuckerman said. “She said she had handled it.”
Zuckerman said that more recently, he and Bialek talked about Cain after the allegations came to light, and Bialek said that the accusations didn’t surprise her.
Gloria Allred, who represents Bialek, said that after the news conference last week, Zuckerman wanted to come forward after Cain denied knowing Bialek.
Zuckerman said he attended an after-party of the NRA’s when Bialek worked there, and witnessed conversations between Cain and Bialek.
“Mr. Cain needs to be honest and forthright with the public that he does know Sharon,” Allred said. “We look forward to Mr. Cain’s response and deeply appreciate the corroboration that Dr. Zuckerman will provide today....He needs to come clean...now is the time.”
Bialek has been the most vocal of Cain’s accusers. Karen Kraushaar, who settled with the NRA over sexual harassment complaints against Cain, had said she planned a press conference with other accusers, but those plans seemed to have stalled.
Cain has called the accusations baseless, and has called Bialek a “troubled woman” and his staff has pointed to her past financial struggles as a reason for her coming forward.
Cain has also said that he has no memory of ever meeting Bialek.
While Cain and his campaign aides have insisted that the allegations have helped him with fundraising, and have not negatively affected his campaign, a new CNN poll shows an 11 percent dip in support for Cain. According to the poll, Cain nabbed 14 percent of the Republican vote, and his support is especially soft among Republican women.
“I am not making a political statement,” Zuckerman said. “I hope this information that I have provided will aid the public.”
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