While Herman Cain's sexual harassment troubles have been going on for over a week now, the three women who made the accusations were bound by settlement agreements from discussing the details of the incidents. Unfortunately, this lack of detail made it easier for some to dismiss the claims as irrelevant or even falsified, using the bizarre one-two argument that you can't pass judgment on Cain without knowing what happened and whatever did happen was probably just a misunderstanding these women used as an opportunity to get money. But now a fourth woman, Sharon Bialek, has come forward (with noted media-savvy lawyer Gloria Allred at her side) with a similar claim — and she's able to speak freely about her charges against Cain.
So, what happened? Did Cain maybe tell Bialek that she was wearing a nice skirt and she just doesn't know how to accept a compliment? Did he tell a racy joke and she, like all dour, fun-hating feminists, overreacted? No and no: he tried to put his hand up her skirt and pushed her head toward his crotch in exchange for helping her get a job, allegedly. Via Politico:
Bialek, a Chicagoan, had raised money for the restaurant association before being terminated in 1997, Allred said. When she lost her job, Bialek reached out to Cain for help.
"Mr. Cain instead decided to try to provide her with his idea of a stimulus package," Allred said.
Bialek detailed Cain's sexual overture, explaining that he spent money on a palatial hotel suite for her at the time of their meeting. When they saw each other in the evening, Bialek said he put his hand on her leg, "reached for [her] genitals" and pushed her head toward his crotch.
When Bialek objected, Cain asked her: "You want a job, right?"
First of all: so, so gross. Second of all: terrible joke, Gloria. Third of all: still so gross! It should be stated, obviously, that this is Bialek's word against Cain's; I'm not even sure how something like this would be "proved" as undeniably true or false. But the fact that Bialek didn't file a suit or look for a settlement, nor is she now; she simply wanted to come forward to support the women who could not disclose the facts of their own incidents. And no matter how you slice it, this doesn't look good for Herman.