Herman Cain is scheduled to hold a press conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday at 3 p.m. local time (5 p.m. EST), where he will address the sexual harassment allegations that have dogged his campaign since Politico first published them nine days ago. On Monday, Sharon Bialek became the first woman to go public with her name and story, accusing Cain, the former CEO of the National Restaurant Association, of trying to grope her when she asked him for help finding a new job. Cain has vehemently denied the allegations.
A timeline of the past week's developments is available here, and the International Business Times will be liveblogging the press conference on this page.
5:36 p.m.: Cain concludes: This nation faces tremendous crises. I would hope we could get back to sharing with the American people solutions to the problems that we face. We are not going to allow ourselves to be continually distracted. The press conference is over now.
5:35 p.m.: Marc Lacey of The New York Times tells Cain that this is his opportunity to come clean and say everything he knows. Cain responds that he recalls absolutely no incidents other than the one he has previously described, in which he gestured to his chin and told an employee, now identified as Kraushaar, that she was the same height as his wife.
5:33 p.m.: Cain said at the beginning of the press conference that he had no recollection of ever meeting Bialek. Now a reporter is asking him whether it's possible that he's just forgotten her face after all these years. He says it's possible but he seriously doubts it, because he went over and over and over and over her face and name and couldn't remember her at all.
5:32 p.m.: A CNN reporter asks why, if the allegations were found to be baseless, Kraushaar received such a large settlement, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars. Cain does not answer specifically, saying only that that was the separation agreement that Kraushaar and her lawyers negotiated with the National Restaurant Association. He says he isn't sure about the tens of thousands of dollars figure and isn't going to get caught in that trap. The New York Times has reported that one accuser received $35,000, and Politico has reported that the second received $45,000.
5:31 p.m.: Now Cain is addressing Bialek's prior financial difficulties, and whether they motivated her decision to go public. Cain notes that Bialek has denied that being a motivation, and that he can't speculate otherwise, but that logically, it's possible money was a motivation.
5:30 p.m.: What is the Democratic machine, a reporter asks? Is it a conspiracy? Cain: I cannot say it is a conspiracy. We can only look at some coincidences to suggest it, that maybe someone is deliberately behind this. We have not been able to make any determination to point any fingers. ... We can only infer.
5:28 p.m.: Cain is asked about Mitt Romney's statement that the accusations were disturbing. He responds that he finds the accusations disturbing, too, but false. He says he doesn't think Romney was saying he was guilty of those disturbing allegations.
5:27 p.m.: A Wall Street Journal reporter asks whether Cain really thinks that all four women are lying. He responds that a lot of people don't want him to be president, so false allegations are going to come out of the woodwork because the machine to keep a businessman out of the White House is going to be relentless. He won't speculate on what the accusers' motivation is other than to stop Herman Cain. He adds that he believes the American people won't let that happen.
5:25 p.m.: Karen Kraushaar, one of the former National Restaurant Association employees who received a settlement to leave the organization, went public today with her name and allegations. Cain says Kraushaar is the woman he recalls coming to an agreement with over allegations that were found to be baseless. He says she was never able to find anyone to corroborate her story, and there were no legal repercussions and no settlement -- only an agreement.
5:23 p.m.: A Los Angeles Times reporter asks Cain whether he believes sexual harassment is real, given that some of his previous statements have seemed to minimize it. He responds: Let me reiterate that sexual harassment is a very serious charge. He says he has seen sexual harassment in the workplace as a CEO, and he has always addressed it when he saw it, but he has never done it himself.
5:22 p.m.: Cain admits that it will be difficult to regain the support of some people who have disavowed him because of these allegations, but he notes that you don't need 100 percent of the vote to win, you just need 51 percent. He says he will focus on retaining the support of the people who have stood by him.
5:20 p.m.: A CBS reporter asks whether Cain thinks it's appropriate for a candidate's character to come under a microscope, and also whether in a he-said-she-said situation, he would be willing to do a lie detector test. He responds that he absolutely would take a lie detector test, but I'm not going to do that unless I have a good reason to do that. In response to the first question, he says it is absolutely appropriate for voters to look at a candidate's character in addition to his policies, but with facts, not what he calls unsubstantiated allegations.
5:19 p.m.: These accusations that were revealed yesterday simply did not happen, he concludes. Now he will take questions from the press.
5:17 p.m.: Cain quotes his wife's reaction after she saw Bialek's press conference on Monday: I have known you for 46 years, and ... that doesn't even sound like anything that you would ever do to anyone! He adds, Sexual harassment accusations are serious, and respect for women and all people I have worked with has been a top priority with respect to me.
5:16 p.m.: Was it tough last week, yes. Has it been tough the last couple of days, yes, Cain says. But that's one thing about Herman Cain -- just because it's tough is no reason for me not to do what I feel like I have to do. He accuses the Democratic machine of taking advantage of a turbulent time in the United States to make false allegations.
5:14 p.m.: Cain says that Americans have long wanted a businessman in the White House, not just another politician, and he will not allow these allegations to derail his campaign. He addressed the people who think he will drop out of the race as a result of the allegations: It ain't gonna happen, because I'm doing this for the American people and for their children and grandchildren, and I will not be deterred by false, anonymous, incorrect accusations.
5:12 p.m.: The charges and the accusations, I absolutely reject. They simply -- didn't -- happen. They simply did not happen.
5:11 p.m.: Cain is up now. He says: I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period. I saw Ms. Allred [Gloria Allred, the lawyer for Bialek] and her client yesterday in that news conference for the very first time. As I sat in my hotel room, as they got to the microphone, my first response in my mind was, 'I don't even know who this woman is.' Secondly, I didn't recognize the name at all.
5:09 p.m.: Cain's lawyer calls the harassment allegations inherently improbable on its face.
5:07 p.m.: One of Cain's lawyers is speaking now. He says he has represented both victims of sexual harassment and assault and people who have been falsely accused of those crimes, and that it is not right for people who allege sexual harassment to accuse people in the court of public opinion, where there are no rules. The rules are made up by the media. These allegations should be tried in a court of law, not in the media, he says, and in that way, Cain has been treated unfairly.
5:02 p.m.: Cain will be here in two minutes, someone says.
5:00 p.m.: Cain's chief of staff, Mark Block, entered the room briefly and then left. No sign of Cain yet.