The woman whose accusations may have prompted Herman Cain to reassess his campaign for president is a 46-year-old single mother of two grown children. Ginger White, who has worked as a fitness instructor, alleges that she carried on a 13-year affair with Cain.

In two interviews with Atlanta television stations, she appeared soft-spoken and said she came forward only to defend her reputation after she feared the story would leak out. Cain has emphatically denied the affair, calling White a “destitute” friend whom he tried to help.

“I couldn’t imagine anyone coming out and lying about this. Who would want this? It’s really not been fun,” White told Atlanta’s WSB-TV outside her apartment Monday.

White has been frequently unemployed, according to news reports, and public records reveal financial difficulties that resulted in several eviction notices.

Her ex-husband, John White, 45, said he had no knowledge of the alleged affair between Ginger White and Cain. “It wouldn’t surprise me either way,” John White said.

The two were married in 1993. They were separated in 1997 and 1998, a period that would have overlapped with the beginning of the alleged affair between White and Cain. John White said Ginger White has been married at least three times.

Ginger White, who could not be reached for an interview, told the reporters who showed up at her apartment Monday night that she is standing by her story.

As she revealed details of the alleged romantic liaison, she suggested that she expects tough scrutiny of her background and conceded in her initial interview with the Fox affiliate in Atlanta that she had made mistakes in some of her business dealings.

According to Georgia court records, she has been given eviction notices at least five times by landlords seeking back rent. A former business partner, Kimberly Vay, sued White earlier this year after a dispute that began when White wrote disparaging comments about Vay in a mass e-mail — comments that White recanted four months later as part of a legal settlement. The two women fell out after a fitness business they ran together collapsed.

“She came back and stated that everything she stated in the e-mail was completely false,” Vay said in an interview. “She admitted to making it all up out of anger and frustration.”

White also agreed to pay Vay’s legal fees but eventually stopped making her monthly payments, leading to the lawsuit, Vay said.

Ginger White’s attorney, Edward Buckley, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

White declined to elaborate on her statements during a brief interview with the Associated Press at her apartment in the Atlanta suburbs Monday night. “I can’t make any comment on this,” she said. “We’re trying to be slightly sensitive.”

Staff researcher Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report.