Ginger White, who alleged this week that she had a 13-year extramarital affair with presidential candidate Herman Cain, acknowledged on Thursday night that she sought his financial assistance and said his assertion that she is lying about their relationship are "hurtful."
Hours after Cain told the New Hampshire Union Leader that he had never had a sexual relationship with her, White went on MSNBC's Last Word and said that she is sticking by her story. “I know that travel was involved and I know that sex was involved,” she told host Lawrence O'Donnell. “I would never lie about that.… I think that he is just, you know, telling parts of the truth.”
White also disputed Cain's claims that she is being paid by a political rival to slander him in the media, telling O'Donnell that she has received no financial compensation for telling her story. “I have not received a dime for any of this. I just wouldn't do that,” she said.
White and Cain remained in contact through at least the middle of November, according to phone records she released to ABC News on Thursday morning. She has said that they ended their relationship fairly recently. “He made a comment to me [about running for office] – and he laughed after, so he may have just only been joking. But I said, 'Wow, running for president -- that’s pretty major.' And I said, 'I guess we won’t be friends anymore, huh?' He was like, 'Yeah, probably not.' ”
In a particularly poignant moment, O'Donnell played a clip of Gloria Cain's appearance on Fox News earlier this month – her only television interview to date – in which she said that the earlier sexual-harassment accusations against Cain didn't sound like the man she married. Asked what she thought of the interview, White said it was the first time she had seen it.
“I never saw the interview and just listening to that – you never really know a person, obviously,” White said, haltingly. “And that's really all I have to say on that. And I would be surprised if she is surprised by this. Honestly speaking, I would be surprised.”
White later added: “I am not a cold-hearted person. I am a mother of two kids. And of course my heart bleeds for this woman because I am a woman and being in a situation like this cannot be fun. And I am deeply, deeply sorry if I have caused any hurt to her, to his kids and to his family. That was not my intention. I never wanted to hurt anyone. And I am deeply sorry. I am very sorry.”
In his earlier interview with the Union Leader, Cain confirmed that he is rethinking his candidacy. He told the paper he would consult his wife before making a final decision. In another interview on Fox, Cain said he would make up his mind by Monday and insisted that his wife would advise him, but not make the final decision.
Union Leader editorial page editor Drew Cline, who was also on Last Word on Thursday night said he got the impression from Cain's interview that his campaign would soon come to an end. “I would expect sometime between Sunday and Tuesday the GOP will be down one candidate,” Cline said. The Union Leader has endorsed rival Newt Gingrich.
White provided phone records to Last Word, which O'Donnell said accounted for 37 text messages between herself and Cain in October and 46 in November. White said the messages came after their sexual relationship had subsided and, as Cain told the Union Leader Thursday afternoon, were related to her financial difficulties. “Our relationship had faded. Our sexual relationship had faded out a bit. Which I was very fine with. … When there were several texts, it was just he and I trying to get our schedules together so we could meet and he would, you know, help me out with -- with money for bills and various things,” she said on MSNBC.
White also revealed that a few of their alleged liaisons took place in Atlanta, where Cain and his wife live, though she said that most of their relationship took place on trips. “He offered me a getaway – a getaway from the normal day-to-do, you know, hustle and bustle,” she said of their relationship. “And so he would send me tickets, and he would fly me off, and we would have a pretty simple weekend. And I'd return back home, he'd go back to his home.”
White said that she had no idea whether Cain or the National Restaurant Association, where he worked for the majority of their relationship, paid for her trips.
Cain's attorney Lin Wood warned the other presidential candidates to "be careful," in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan on Thursday night, saying that if "one person can go out and make an accusation that turns a friendship into an alleged sexual affair ... that's a slippery slope that I don't believe this country wants to go down."
Wood said that White and Cain exchanged 70 text messages -- 13 short of O'Donnell's total -- but that fully 57 of them were sent by White. The other 13, he said, were Cain's responses, implying that his client did not initiate any of the conversations.
Cain has acknowledged that he knows White and has called her a "friend." He told the Union Leader that he had helped White out financially over the past 13 years without the knowledge of his wife. He and Gloria Cain have been married since 1968.