Adding to the ongoing Herman Cain sexual harassment controversy, two sources have now confirmed to PJ Media that a female employee of the National Restaurant Association told associates she had been brought by Mr. Cain to his Crystal City, Virginia residence where she alleged “he had taken advantage of me.”
Both sources claim to be politically conservative.
One source, a male, told PJ Media:
Herman took advantage of seniority and power with a young woman. It was an abuse of power.
Implying that coming forward with the accusations was an ordeal for the young woman, the source also said:
Who do you believe, a CEO or a mid-level staffer? It was unsettling for her to make charges.
The name of the woman — who was in her early twenties at the time of the alleged incident — has been confirmed by PJ Media. We have chosen not to reveal her identity for reasons of discretion.
Both sources, one male and one female, worked at the time — mid-1990s — for the governmental affairs department of the National Restaurant Association, as did the woman.
According to the female source, Mr. Cain and the woman had been with a large group for a long evening of food and drink at the Ciao Baby Cucina, a restaurant near NRA headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. This was a normal routine, as the trade association worked with the food and beverage industry. Afterwards, Mr. Cain allegedly took the woman by taxi to his apartment, where she spent the night and woke up.
The female source told PJ Media that she witnessed the woman and Herman Cain break away from the large group as part of a smaller group.
Neither source has direct knowledge of what occurred at Mr. Cain’s residence, but several days after the alleged incident, the female source witnessed the woman returning to her workplace “distraught.” “She was very upset.”
One source told PJ Media: “Some people didn’t believe [the accuser]” at the time she made the allegation. The female source recalls the woman continued working at the NRA for several weeks after the encounter; the male source recalls the woman continued working there for a few months.
Both sources claim that during this period following the incident while the woman was still employed, the NRA’s human resources office held many “closed door meetings” that included her. The woman’s parents retained legal counsel and arranged an undisclosed financial settlement.
Today, the NRA is expected to meet with attorney Joel P. Bennett, who represents one of the women who have made claims against Mr. Cain. Bennett has stated he wants the NRA to terminate a confidentiality provision which bars his client from revealing the grounds for the settlement:
[The NRA] ought to waive the confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions and let the two women, if they choose to do so, come forward and tell their stories so that it can get a complete public airing.
Mr. Cain has steadfastly denied that he harassed any female employees at the National Restaurant Association when he was president. He originally said any allegations of his harassment of women are “totally baseless and totally false.”
(CORRECTIONS: A previous version of this story mentioned that a source witnessed Cain and the woman entering a taxi together. This was incorrect.
The previous version also mentioned that the woman awoke in Cain’s bed — the source only claimed that the woman awoke in Cain’s apartment.
The previous version incorrectly attributed comments from one source to the other source.)
Roger L. Simon contributed to this story in Los Angeles, and David Steinberg contributed to this story in New York.