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After silence from fellow Cain accusers, Kraushaar backs off

November 10, 2011|By Melanie Mason | Washington Bureau
(Scott Olson/Getty Images )

Plans for a news conference featuring multiple women who have accused Cain of sexual harassment have been delayed, according to the attorney for one of the women.

Joel Bennett said Thursday his client, Karen Kraushaar, spent several days reaching out to two women whose complaints about Cain’s past inappropriate behavior have been detailed—anonymously—in media accounts.

“Despite diligent efforts, she has not heard from these two women,” Bennett said in a statement.

Kraushaar, who was originally not named in reports detailing the allegations lodged against Cain, confirmed this week she did file a formal complaint with the National Restaurant Assn. in 1999 and received a monetary settlement.

Her identity surfaced one day after Sharon Bialek, a Chicago woman who says Cain attempted to grope her in 1997, became the first person to publicly accuse the GOP presidential contender for inappropriate behavior.

Kraushaar, through her attorney, floated the possibility of a joint news conference earlier this week to push back against Cain’s assertion that her complaint and others were untrue.

But without the participation of the other women—there are at least two who have remained anonymous as the story has unfolded—Kraushaar will not grant interviews or hold a news conference on her own, according to Bennett. Bennett’s statement did leave open the possibility for a future joint news conference, if the unnamed women decide to join in.

“Ms. Kraushaar thanks Gloria Allred and Sharon Bialek for their willingness to appear with her but believes it would be more meaningful to have all four women present and participating,” Bennett said.

Cain, facing a friendly audience at last night’s Republican presidential debate in Detroit, dismissed the allegations as “false” and said support for his campaign remained strong.

"Over the last nine days, the voters have voted with their dollars, and they're saying they don't care about the character assassination,” Cain said. “They care about leadership and getting this economy going."

Tom Hamburger in the Washington Bureau contributed to this report.

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