A former boyfriend of Sharon Bialek, one of the women who have accused Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment, on Monday corroborated many of the details of Bialek’s account of her interactions with Cain in 1997 and countered Cain’s statements that he and Bialek had not met.
At a press conference in Shreveport, La., Victor Zuckerman, a pediatrician and registered Republican, described his and Bialek’s interactions with Cain in the weeks leading up to the alleged harassment, and his story matched the one Bialek told in a press conference last week.
Zuckerman, flanked by lawyer Gloria Allred, said he and Bialek had already started dating when she got a job at the National Restaurant Association’s educational foundation. Bialek told Zuckerman about Cain, then the chief executive of the trade group, and described him as a man with “wit, warmth, and great public-speaking abilities,” Zuckerman said. Zuckerman said Bialek introduced him to Cain at an NRA event.
Cain has called Bialek's allegations as “baseless, bogus, and false” and said he could not recall meeting her.
When Bialek was fired from her job, Zuckerman told her to ask Cain for help finding a new position, both Bialek and Zuckerman say. Because she was unemployed at the time, Zuckerman paid for Bialek’s trip to Washington and her hotel room at the Capitol Hilton, which Bialek said Cain then upgraded to a suite.
Bialek said Cain allegedly groped her that night in 1997, but Cain has strongly denied that.
When Bialek returned from Washington, she did not specify what had happened, Zuckerman said, but she was distraught.
“I can confirm that when she returned she was upset,” Zuckerman said on Monday. “She said that something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner.”
Zuckerman said Bialek did not want to talk about the issue further, so he did not bring it up again.
In a Fox News interview that will air on Monday, Cain’s wife, Gloria Cain, will defend her husband and deny the allegations, according to excerpts from the interview.
WATCH Mark Block on Monday talks to reporters about keeping the campaign on message: