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Herman Cain Accuser's Attorney Makes Statement On Sexual Harassment Allegations

By LAURIE KELLMAN   11/04/11 04:27 PM ET  AP

WASHINGTON -- A lawyer for a woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment while both worked at the National Restaurant Association says she complained about a "series of inappropriate behaviors" in good faith and accepted a financial agreement.

Joel Bennett told reporters that his client stands by the complaint she made a decade ago even though Cain has said the allegations were baseless. Bennett says his client disagrees with the statements Cain has made. He wouldn't say how much money she received.

Bennett says the woman doesn't want to divulge specifics of the behavior or her identity.

He says his client sees no value in revisiting the complaint from 1999.

The National Restaurant Association confirmed there was an agreement with the woman.

Statement from the National Restaurant Association:
"We have seen the statement Joel Bennett released earlier today on behalf of his client, a former employee of the Association. The Association consented to the release of that statement, at the request of Mr. Bennett's client.

"Based upon the information currently available, we can confirm that more than a decade ago, in July 1999, Mr. Bennett's client filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the Association's existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Mr. Herman Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint. The Association and Mr. Bennett's client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr. Cain was not a party to that agreement. The agreement contains mutual confidentiality obligations. Notwithstanding the Association's ongoing policy of maintaining the privacy of all personnel matters, we have advised Mr. Bennett that we are willing to waive the confidentiality of this matter and permit Mr. Bennett's client to comment. As indicated in Mr. Bennett's statement, his client prefers not to be further involved with this matter and we will respect her decision.

"The Association has robust policies designed to ensure that employees with concerns may bring them forward for prompt investigation and resolution, without risk of retaliation. The Association is fully committed to equal employment opportunity and to an environment that is free from any discrimination or harassment."

UPDATE: The Cain campaign has released the following statement:
“We look forward to focusing our attention on the real issues impacting this country — like fixing this broken economy and putting Americans back to work through our 9-9-9 Plan, as well as strengthening national security.”

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Filed by Nick Wing  |