The Associated Press reports this afternoon that a third former female employee of Herman Cain has come forward with sexual-harassment complaints, describing behavior she considered “aggressive and unwanted,” including a “private invitation to his corporate apartment.”
She worked for the National Restaurant Association when he was its head. She told The Associated Press that Cain made sexually suggestive remarks or gestures about the same time that two co-workers had settled separate harassment complaints against him.
The employee described situations in which she said Cain told her he had confided to colleagues how attractive she was and invited her to his corporate apartment outside work. She spoke on condition of anonymity, saying she feared retaliation.
That last sentence is worth keeping in mind, since the other two accusers are not really anonymous — they came forward to complain about Cain’s alleged misconduct at the time of the incidents, and received settlements from the trade association. It’s unclear if this third accuser ever formally raised concerns publicly with the National Restaurant Association.
The Republican presidential campaign did not comment on these latest accusations, and it has also not yet said whether Cain supports freeing one of the first two accusers from her confidentiality agreement, at her lawyer’s request, so she can provide her side of the story.
In the meantime, Chris Wilson, a veteran Republican pollster and former National Restaurant Association employee, also came forward today to say he remembers being present at an incident in which Cain sexually harassed a woman at an Arlington, Va. restaurant in the late 1990s. Wilson is a Perry supporter, so one assumes the Cain camp will call his motives into question.
That said, taken together, it would appear that Cain’s record towards women in the workplace is, to put it mildly, problematic.