Lawyer: Cain's Accuser Claims a 'Series of Inappropriate Behaviors' Occurred

Cain's chief of staff: 'It's being discussed'


A woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment in the 1990s  while both worked at the National Restaurant Association complained about a "series of inappropriate behaviors" by the leading Republican presidential candidate, her lawyer said Friday.

Attorney Joel Bennett read a statement that didn't name Cain's accuser but said that his client stands by the complaint she made a decade ago even though Cain has denied the allegations. 

"Mr. Cain knows the specific incidents that were alleged," Bennett said. "If he chooses to not remember or not acknowledge those, that's his issue."

Bennett said his client accepted a financial agreement but wouldn't say how much she received. She and her husband "see no value in revisiting the matter now," he said. 

Bennett added, "There's an expression: 'Where there's smoke, there's fire.' That fact that there are multiple complaints tells me that it is more likely than not that there was some sexual harassment activity by this man at that time."

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Dawn Sweeney, the president and chief executive of the National Restaurant Association, said the trade group consented to Bennett releasing the statement because it did not violate the financial agreement reached a decade ago.

"Notwithstanding the Association's ongoing policy of maintaining the privacy of all personnel matters, we have advised Mr. Bennett that we are willing to waive the confidentiality of this matter and permit Mr. Bennett's client to comment," she said in a statement. "As indicated in Mr. Bennett's statement, his client prefers not to be further involved with this matter and we will respect her decision." 

The Cain campaign responded to the latest developments with a statement: "We look forward to focusing our attention on the real issues impacting this country -- like fixing this broken economy and putting Americans back to work through our 9-9-9 Plan, as well as strengthening national security."

While revelations of sexual harassment allegations have kept Cain's campaign on the ropes all week, two new polls show they have failed to slow down his momentum in the GOP race.

In surveys taken after Politico first reported the allegations Sunday night, Cain is running neck-and-neck with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a Washington Post-ABC News poll and he's leading the pack in South Carolina, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll.

In the Washington Post survey of Republican and GOP-leaning independent voters, Cain received 23 percent support compared with 24 percent for Romney. It was Cain's best showing in that poll, jumping 6 percentage points from the previous one last month. The latest poll, conducted from Monday to Thursday, has a margin of error of 5.5 percent.

In the Rasmussen Reports polls, Cain had a comfortable lead with 33 percent support from South Carolina's likely Republican voters and Romney drawing 23 percent. 

Mark Block, the chief of staff to Cain's campaign, told Fox News on Friday that the polls show the accusations have not damaged the candidate. He added that he won't address the allegations again.

"Mr. Cain is a different kind of candidate," he said. "We ran a different kind of campaign and we are not going to play by the rules that the media has established."

Block said the campaign was considering whether to sue Politico over the stories.

Cain spoke to a friendly audience of conservatives on Friday, pitching his signature economic plan, but not directly mentioning the controversy that has dogged him all week. But his reference was clear when he said, "I've been in Washington all week, and I've attracted a little bit of attention."

Cain's political allies are trying to take the offensive. Late Thursday, a group called Americans for Cain released a Web video that, without offering proof, blamed liberals for the furor surrounding Cain and called the process "a high-tech lynching." 

The one-minute video maintains that liberals and the mainstream media can't challenge Cain on the merits of his policies, so they've attacked him with the sexual harassment reports, just as Clarence Thomas came under similar scrutiny during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

As additional women have claimed harassment by Cain over the course of the past week, his campaign has argued that he's benefiting from the controversy. Cain has hired at least one more national finance staffer since Sunday, when the allegations first surfaced. 

His national finance team planned a meeting Friday morning in Washington to discuss strategy as it looks to broaden a grassroots fundraising base that's so far been driven by small online donations -- including more than $1.2 million in contributions since Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.