Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 11/08/2011

Cain accuser says she’s not after money

Herman Cain’s campaign did not hesitate to question the motives and background of Sharon Bialek, the Chicago woman accusing Cain of groping her in a car more than a dozen years ago.

And Bialek, a single mother and homemaker, quickly made the rounds of morning television shows with her answers.

“Was she paid to come forward with these false accusations or was she promised employment?” Cain spokesman, J.D. Gordon said in a statement about Bialek that was issued Monday night.

Bialek told CNN and ABC that she came forward because “it’s the right thing to do.”

“I was not paid to come forward, nor was I promised any employment,” she said on ABC. “I was embarrassed as many women are in these kinds of situations and I kind of just wanted it to go away.”


Sharon Bialek speaks during a news conference accusing Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain of sexual harassment with her lawyer Gloria Allred (R) in New York, November 7, 2011. (BRENDAN MCDERMID - REUTERS)

Bialek is the only one of four women accusing Cain of inappropriate conduct to come forward publicly. Her news conference Monday prompted the Cain campaign to directly address her allegations, something that they previously said they would not do. Among other things, the GOP presidential hopeful’s campaign questioned Bialek’s financial background and the partisan loyalties of her attorney, Gloria Allred.

“The questions the media should be asking are who’s paying for Gloria Allred’s fee, how did Ms. Bialek get introduced to Ms. Allred, and was she paid to come forward with these false accusations or was she promised employment?” Gordon said.

“After attacking Herman Cain through anonymous accusers for a week, his opponents have now convinced a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy, to falsely accuse the Republican frontrunner of events allegedly occurring well over a decade ago for which there is no record, nor even a complaint filed.”

On CNN, Bialek addressed the bankruptcy claims, saying that the financial difficulty came about as she was helping her father pay medical bills, and fighting a custody battle.

“It was after the death of my mother,” Bialek said.“Like millions of other people out there, we’re struggling...I could have actually sold my story, but I didn’t [because] my whole objective is to tell the truth and also help other people out there that may have been in similar situations.”

Bialek also said that part of her motivation was her 13-year-old son, who urged her to come forward with the allegations against Cain, who has denied that he sexually harassed anyone.

“He said, ‘Mom, you have to do the right thing,’” Bialek told CNN. “I think you need to tell on him.”

In the interview, Bialek also talked about Cain’s wife, Gloria, whom the candidate has said is still a “200 percent supporter.” Cain said his wife called him after Bialek’s press conference Monday to tell him she did not believe any of Bialek’s allegations.

“What is his wife going through?” Bialek said. “That’s who I feel for the most in this whole thing.”

Republicans have increasingly set a high bar for what Cain must do today, suggesting that he must lay out all the facts, and release any exculpatory information. Bialek said she wanted an apology from Cain and for him to “step forward and just end this.”

“End it by saying ‘I did these things,’” she said.

Bialek’s finance, Mark Harwood, told the Chicago Tribune that he supports what she is trying to do.

“What she’s endeavoring to do, is to be the voice of herself and these other ladies, which gives them credibility going forward,” Harwood said. “It’s not easy...she’s got a huge heart and it’s taken a lot of guts.”

Video of Bialek’s CNN interview below:

By  |  11:33 AM ET, 11/08/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company