One of the former National Restaurant Association employees who received a settlement after accusing then-CEO Herman Cain of sexual harassment says she wants to hold a joint press conference with the other three women who have made allegations against Cain.
Karen Kraushaar, 55, whose name was revealed on Tuesday, said she wanted people to look at all of the allegations together rather than dismissing them individually.
I am interested in a joint press conference for all the women where we would all be together with our attorneys and all of these allegations could be reviewed as a collective body of evidence, she told The Washington Post.
Kraushaar's lawyer, Joel Bennett, said that Sharon Bialek, the only other accuser who has gone public so far, has already agreed to participate in a joint press conference if it happens. Bialek became the fourth woman to accuse Cain of sexual harassment when she claimed on Monday that he had tried to grope her in 1997, but she did not file a complaint because she wasn't employed by the National Restaurant Association at the time.
Just last week, Bennett had said that Kraushaar did not want to go public because she didn't want to become the next Anita Hill, who faced backlash from conservatives when she accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991. Even after learning Kraushaar's name, most news outlets agreed not to publish it against her wishes.
But The Daily published her name on Tuesday, and now that she can't keep her identity secret anymore, she has decided to become more vocal.
Does Not Expect Cain to Admit to Actions
She does not, however, expect to make Cain confess to sexual harassment. He's a serial denier, she told CNN. He will deny if it is four or 40 women.
Cain acknowledges that the National Restaurant Association gave Kraushaar a severance package in the late 1990s, but he calls it an agreement, denying that it was a settlement with any legal implications. He says the only incident he can recall that could possibly have been construed as sexual harassment was one in which Kraushaar was in his office and he gestured to his chin to indicate that she was the same height as his wife.
But Kraushaar told CNN that she had not been bothered by, much less complained about that incident.
A comment like that is so innocuous, it wasn't even a part of my complaint, she said. She declined to elaborate on what she did complain about, saying only that there was an incident in my office. She added, though, that she was considering describing her experience in more detail.
I have kept all of the copies of my allegations, so I believe that could happen, she said.
At a press conference on Monday, the fourth accuser, Bialek, alleged that Cain had reached up her skirt, tried to touch her genitals and pulled her head toward his crotch after she had approached him for help finding a job. She claimed that when she told him to stop, he said, You want a job, right?
Shortly afterward, Bennett said that Kraushaar's complaints were similar to Bialek's. He refused to say whether the harassment Kraushaar experienced had been verbal, physical or both, but he said Bialek's story corroborated his client's.
Cain said at a press conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday that he didn't even know who Bialek was, and he repeated that he had never sexually harassed anyone.
Polls show that voters are split on whether they believe him. It is clear, however, that his support has fallen as more details have come out and as two women have spoken publicly, lending more credence to what were previously anonymous allegations.