Cain denied the accusations. In an interview that aired before White’s allegations were broadcast, Cain told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he knows White and that the two had been friends but that there had been no sexual contact and no “affair.” He characterized their relationship as “trying to help a friend” because of her “not having a job etcetera and this sort of thing.”
This month, Cain was accused of sexually harassing several women.
White said she decided to come forward because she feared that the affair would be uncovered after her name was passed on to reporters by someone who knew of the relationship.
“I’m not proud. I didn’t want to come out with this. I did not,” said White, who described the relationship with Cain as taking her away from her “humdrum life.”
“It was pretty simple. It wasn’t complicated. I was aware that he was married. I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship,” she said in the Fox interview.
The accusation comes as Cain continues to drop in national polls. Before the first sexual harassment allegations were published in Politico four weeks ago, some polls showed him leading the Republican race. Over the past month, it has been reported that four women accused Cain of sexual harassment while he headed the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Cain has denied the allegations, although his campaign suffered as he and his aides bungled their response to the accusations. First, Cain refused to acknowledge that sexual harassment allegations had been filed against him. He later said he recalled one accusation but denied knowledge of the other and said they were all “baseless.”
Since then, he has fallen to 17 percent in CNN’s latest poll, compared with 20 percent for Mitt Romney and 24 percent for Newt Gingrich. Cain has been trying to refocus his campaign. He has a foreign policy address scheduled for Tuesday and a full day of campaigning set for Wednesday. But he seemed to expect the new accusation would further hurt his candidacy.
“I know that the court of public opinion is going to formulate its own opinion,” he told CNN. “I can’t control people who are going to make a decision based upon accusations.”
White did not respond to phone calls and e-mails Monday night. She said in the television interview that she met Cain in the late ’90s at a meeting in Louisville, when he was president of the restaurant association. They had drinks, she said, and he invited her to his hotel room, where he pulled out a calendar and suggested that she meet him in Palm Springs, Calif.