Cain: Perry Camp Responsible for Leak of Sexual Harassment Claims

By Jon E. Dougherty at 3 Nov 2011

(Newsroom America) -- Top GOP White House contender Herman Cain says he believes the presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry was responsible for leaking details of sexual harassment charges made against him in the 1990s when he ran the National Restaurant Association.

Cain, in an interview with Forbes, said he believes Curt Anderson, a partner in the Republican-leaning consulting firm OnMessage Inc., may be responsible for leaking the information. Anderson worked on Cain's unsuccessful 2004 U.S. Senate bid, and his firm has recently been hired by the Perry campaign, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO said.

Cain told Forbes he remembers briefing Anderson, who was his general consultant at the time, about the claims.

"I told my wife about this in 1999 and I’ve got nothing to hide," Cain told Forbes.

"When I sat down with my general campaign consultant Curt Anderson in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003 we discussed opposition research on me," he continued. "It was a typical campaign conversation. I told him that there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman while I was at the National Restaurant Association. Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them. I don’t recall anyone else being in the room when I told him."

Anderson denied having any prior knowledge of the incident, which was first reported by trade newspaper Politico over the weekend.

"I never heard about this story until I read about it in Politico," he told Forbes. "I have nothing but good things to say about Herman Cain. I’m not going to bad-mouth Herman Cain to anyone, on or off the record. I think he is a guy of great leadership and integrity."

The Perry campaign said allegations it was behind the leak were "patently untrue," the magazine reported.

Forbes reported that Tony Fabrizo, a former Cain Senate campaign pollster, also now works for the Perry campaign. The magazine reported that Fabrizo did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The initial report set off a firestorm of media attention, but Cain quickly denied the allegations.

Since then neither Politico or either of the two women in question have come forward with concrete details of the alleged harassment, the Forbes report noted.

The National Restaurant Association has so far refused to provide any details about the alleged incident, citing a confidentiality agreement between the parties. Forbes said the Cain campaign requested that the NRA supply some of the details but the organization refused.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported Thursday that a third woman has made similar accusations against Cain.

AP said the woman, who was not identified in the report, told the newswire service Cain made similar inappropriate comments and was aggressive towards her, even inviting her to his corporate apartment while he was head of the NRA.

Republican Party officials refused to comment on the allegations, saying they won't harm the GOP's chances of defeating President Obama next year.

© 2011 Newsroom America.

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