One of the women who accused presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment in 1999 has decided to go silent again, canceling plans to hold a joint news conference with another Cain accuser.
Karen Kraushaar, 55, who worked with Cain at the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s, has publicly wrestled with the idea of releasing additional details about her harassment, which she has only described as a series of objectionable actions and statements.
Her attorney said this week that she had agreed to appear at a news conference, but in a statement issued through her attorney on Thursday night, Kraushaar said she decided to make no further comment because her calls have not been returned to two other women who she believed had accused Cain of harassment.
Cain has categorically denied the sexual harassment allegations.
Joel P. Bennett issued the statement for his client. It reads: “For several days, my client, Karen Kraushaar, has been trying to contact the other two women who were subjected to sexual harassment by Herman Cain while he was the CEO of the National Restaurant Association. Despite diligent efforts, she has not heard from these two women.
“Ms. Kraushaar has decided not to hold a press conference unless and until the other women come forward and wish to participate,” the statement said. “She will have no further comment until that time and she and I will not be granting any interviews to the media before any such press conference.”
Gloria Allred, attorney for Sharon Bialek, who has accused Cain of a rough sexual advance when she asked him for a job, had said earlier in the day that an agreement had been made between Kraushaar and Bialek to hold a joint news conference. However, Allred said she did not expect a news conference to occur until next week. Late in the day, Allred indicated there had been a change and she referred calls to Bennett.
“Ms. Kraushaar thanks Gloria Allred and Sharon Bialek for their willingness to appear with her,” Bennett said, “but believes it would be more meaningful to have all four women present and participating.”
Kraushaar has vacillated about whether to go public since the allegations were first aired, without naming her, in Politico. She sought and received permission from the National Restaurant Association, which confirmed the complaint, but she balked at making her name public and issued her statement through Bennett without releasing her name on Friday.
Her name was known to news organizations, but she had asked the media not to make her name public to protect her privacy. Most agreed until The Daily published her name this week after Bialek went public on Monday. Then, she said she wanted to hold a joint news conference with all of the Cain accusers. Allred agreed.
The publication of her name exposed Kraushaar to a wave of publicity and inquiries from the media that, she said on Wednesday, made it difficult for her to continue to perform her duties as a communications specialist at the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration. It also brought unwanted scrutiny from the Associated Press, which publicized another complaint regarding unfair treatment at the Immigration and Naturalization Service.