The Chicago woman who accused GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain of an unwanted and aggressive sexual advance 14 years ago said on Tuesday morning that she is not getting paid to tell her story.
While acknowledging she's had financial problems in the past, Sharon Bialek said on CNN that she could have sold her story to a publication for money and said she is speaking out on behalf of the other women who were victims of sexually inappropriate behavior by the Republican presidential candidate. Bialek also said she wanted to be a good role model for her 13-year-old son.
Bialek was responding to claims by the Cain campaign late Monday evening that Bialek was either paid or promised a job for a fabricated story. The campaign's statement said that Cain's "opponents have now convinced a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy, to falsely accuse the Republican front-runner of events allegedly occurring well over a decade ago for which there is no record nor even a complaint filed."
Despite the claims of harassment, Bialek said in a separate interview on CBS News' Early Show that she has not shut the door on voting for Cain in the future. When asked whether she would vote for him if he admitted to the allegations, she said "I hope that he does and I'd have to think about that one."
In the CNN interview on Tuesday morning, Bialek acknowledged that she filed for personal bankruptcy after her mother's medical bills piled up and she went through a custody battle following a divorce. "Like millions of other people out there, you know, I'm struggling. And I could have actually sold my story, but I didn't because ... my whole objective is to tell the truth and also help other people out there who may have been in similar situations."
Two women who worked for the National Restaurant Association when Cain headed the trade group from 1996 to 1999 won financial settlements after complaining of inappropriate behavior by Cain, and a third has said she had similar experiences with Cain but did not file a complaint. Those women have chosen to remain anonymous. Bialek is the first to step forward publicly.
Asked how she feels about Cain calling her a liar, Bialek said that it frustrated her and that she feels sorry for Cain's wife. "What is his wife going through? You know, that's who I feel for the most in this whole thing."
Bialek was also asked why she chose celebrity attorney Gloria Allred to represent her, another point that Cain raised in his campaign statement. Bialek said that others recommended Allred to her because of her reputation and told her, "Gloria's the best ... and she will walk you through this." Allred, also on the show, said she took Bialek's case free of charge.