Contact: Gloria Allred
Ms. Bialek's Statement
I met Mr. Cain while I was employed at the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association.
About a month before I was terminated I interacted with him on several occasions during the five days of the NRA Convention in Chicago. Mr. Cain sat next to me at Marche restaurant and he spoke to me throughout most of the dinner. During the convention there was also a luncheon at which high school students that had performed well in the industry were honored. Mr. Cain sat next to me at that luncheon and spoke to me extensively. Mr. Cain was the keynote speaker at the luncheon. He was incredibly inspirational. When he sat down I said to him, "when are you running for President?".
The final night of the conference Mr. Cain sat at a table with me and my boyfriend. He was warm and attentive to both of us and invited us to join him at the after party in a suite at the hotel which we did. I felt very honored to be included in this select gathering.
About a month later I was let go by the Foundation. I was devastated. I loved the job and the industry and in the short time that I had been there I felt that we were doing well in terms of fundraising.
My boyfriend suggested that I should reach out to Mr. Cain to see if he might be able to help me find another job with the Foundation or in some other capacity. He said,: "Herman seemed to think highly of you. Why don't you contact him and see if he can help you find a job?"
I called Mr. Cain's secretary and left a message- Mr. Cain called me back. I told him that I had been let go. He said that he was unaware of it. I explained that I was going to be visiting my boyfriend's family and would only be a couple of hours train ride from DC which is where the NRA had its national office. I asked if he could meet me for coffee. He said that he would and that I should call once I had firmed up the dates and the arrangements.
My boyfriend booked a room for me at the Capital Hilton Hotel and I called Mr. Cain to let him know my arrival date and that I would be staying at the Capitol Hilton Hotel I asked him where we should meet. He suggested the lobby bar. This was in mid-July, 1997.
I took the train into Washington, D.C. When I went to check into the room I was shocked to be taken to a palatial suite. I told the bellman that there must be some mistake, but he insisted that there was no mistake. I later found out that Mr. Cain had arranged for the suite, though at the time I thought that perhaps my boyfriend had decided to surprise me.
I met Mr. Cain in the lobby at about 6:30pm and we had drinks at the hotel. He asked me how I liked my room and I explained that I was surprised. I said that I could not believe that I was given this gorgeous Senator's suite. Mr. Cain smirked and then said, "I upgraded you".
He then took me to an Italian Restaurant where we had dinner. During dinner Mr. Cain looked at me and said, "why are you here." I said, "Actually Herman, my boyfriend, whom you met, suggested that I come- He thought that you could help me. I need a job. I was wondering if there is anything available at the state association level or if you could speak to someone at the Foundation on my behalf, perhaps in a different department." He said that he would look into it.
He said that he would show me where the National Restaurant Association offices were and then drove past the offices. He parked the car down the block. I thought that we were going into the offices so that he could show me around. I was wearing a black pleated skirt, a blouse and a suit jacket. He had on a suit jacket without a tie. Instead of going in he suddenly reached over and put his hand on my leg, under my skirt and reached for my genitals. He also grabbed my head and brought it towards his crotch. I was surprised and shocked and I said," What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend. This is not what I came here for." Mr. Cain said, "You want a job, right?". I asked him to stop and he did. I asked him to take me back to my hotel which he did.
When I returned to New Jersey where I was staying I told my boyfriend that Mr. Cain had been sexually inappropriate with me and shortly thereafter I told another friend of mine who has been a mentor the same thing. I did not tell them the details because I was embarrassed, but I did tell them that Mr. Cain had been sexually inappropriate and that I was upset by his behavior.
That was the last time that I saw Mr. Cain until I saw him about a month ago at a Tea Party Conference at WIND Chicago Radio Tea Party Conference in Chicago. I did not know that he would be there. I went up to him and asked if he remembered me. I wanted to see if he would be man enough to own up to what he had done some 14 years ago. He acknowledged that he remembered me from the Foundation, looked uncomfortable and said nothing as he left for his speech. During his speech he had the same infectious presence and command as he did when I had heard him speak the first time some 14 years previously at the NRA Convention. I kept wondering whether he had done to other women what he had done to me and whether anyone was going to speak up about it. I had hoped that for his sake and his candidacy that mine was an isolated incident and that he had not exhibited those behaviors with other women.
I did not file a complaint against Mr. Cain as these other women did since I was not employed at the Foundation when this occurred, but, I am coming forward now to give a face and a voice to those women who cannot or do not wish to come forward and on behalf of all women in the workplace who are sexually harassed but do not come forward out of fear of retaliation and public humiliation.
I did not want to be here today and would not have been had it not been for the three other women who have alleged sexual harassment against Mr. Cain. I want you Mr. Cain to come clean- admit what you did and then move forward. America is in turmoil. We need a leader who can set an example which exemplifies the standard of a person of good moral character. Mr. Cain, I implore you- make this right- so that you and the country can move forward and focus on the real issues at hand.
Attorney at Law
Representing Sharon Bialek
November 7, 2011