One of the two woman who reportedly accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment received $35,000 from the National Restaurant Association over her complaints, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday evening.
The figure represented a year’s salary for the NRA staffer — higher than Cain’s public estimates of one of the settlements over the last couple of days, which ranged from three to six months pay. According to the Times, however, Cain — who has only acknowledged the existence of the other woman’s settlement — appears to be mixing up details from both complaints. Their account also adds further details on the incidents that led to the harassment complaint that resulted in the $35,000 payout, which sources say included several encounters, but one that stood out in particular:
Four people with contemporaneous knowledge of the incident said the encounter had taken place in the context of a work outing during which there was heavy drinking, a hallmark, they said, of outings with an organization that represents the hospitality industry. They spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid being publicly drawn into the dispute, and declined to provide details of the encounter, saying they did not want to violate the privacy of the woman.
The other woman in question has asked, through her lawyer, to be released from a non-disclosure agreement included in the settlement in order to be able to tell her side of the story. Her willingness to come forward means Cain, who has provided few details of the events that led to the harassment complaint, and the National Restaurant Association are likely to face enormous pressure in coming days to allow the full story to come out into the open. Asked on FOX News Tuesday whether he would allow such a move, Cain said he would have to consult his lawyers as there were unspecified “legal implications.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.