Among the many things I am currently reading about Sharon Bialek, the only woman to make public her accusations against Republican presidential contender Herman Cain, this one thing stood out, “Bialek does not intend to go forward with a lawsuit against Cain.”
If that’s the case, then why is Democratic attorney Gloria Allred on the case? That said, the publicity hound has “offered sworn affidavits from two friends to whom Bialek spoke shortly after the alleged encounter.”
That fact alone gives this accuser more credibility than the other alleged victims. Indeed, as Jim Hoft puts it, citing twitter traffic, “she is as believable as Juanita Broderick (sic) was when she accused Bill Clinton of rape.” And generating far more media attention for conduct far less offensive.
Cain, she alleges, “reached under her skirt in 1997 as she sought help in finding a job“, but did not persist when she rebuffed his advances. Mr. Clinton persisted when Ms. Broaddrick rebuffed his. This is not to diminish the allegations, but to wonder at the media circus. As Andrew Klavan puts it:
Not only is the news coverage of alleged sexual misconduct different according to political affiliation, the consequences ofactual misconduct are often quite different as well. Republican congressman Mark Foley sent suggestive emails to male pages; he resigned under GOP pressure. Democratic congressman Gerry Studds actually had sex with one of the boys, then flung defiance at the House when they censured him; he was re-elected by Democrats until his retirement.
Although I remain suspicious of Miss Allred’s motives, the sworn affidavits do cause me to take this charge more seriously than the others.
UPDATE: Law professor William A. Jacobson reminds us that since the woman alleged that the sexual advance took place “after her employment terminated with a National Restaurant Association affiliate . . . the allegation is not one of workplace ‘sexual harassment’ but of an alleged attempt at infidelity“, adding that the “political damage will be significant”:
Unlike the Politico stories, there is a face, name and specific accusations which are of a different character than the prior charges by employees who worked for Cain, but that will not make a difference to public perception. Unlike Bill Clinton, who was accused of not stopping when told “no,” Cain does not have the infrastructure to deal with “bimbo eruptions” as Clinton did, and a Republican candidate is held to a higher standard.
UP-UPDATE: Defending Herman Cain, R.S. McCain makes some (very) valid points:
We have here the basic “he-said, she-said” problem involved in such cases. What Bialek says happened would be very bad if it actually happened as she describes it. But there were no witnesses, there is no evidence, and the affidavits of two people to whom Bialek told her story in 1997 are inadmissable as hearsay. You could not convict Herman Cain in court based on such evidence, and yet the behavior described, if it is not criminal, certainly does fit within the category of “sexual harassment.”
UP-UP-UPDATE: Cain campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon has released a statement categorically denying the charges: “All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone.”