The attorney for one of the women who filed a sexual harassment complaint against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain says the woman made a complaint in 1999 to the National Restaurant Association about "a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the CEO." At the time the CEO was Cain.
Attorney Joel Bennett said the woman did not want to go into the details of the incident, because it would be "extremely painful to do so."
Today, The National Restaurant Association also confirmed it had settled an "internal complaint" with the woman and had also released her from a confidentiality agreement. The association said that at the time, Cain "disputed the allegations in the complaint." The woman and association, it said in a statement, "entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability." It added that Cain was "not a party to that agreement."
Cain's campaign issued a statement saying:
"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."
Our friends at It's All Politics have taken the lead on this story and will post more details in a little bit.
Meanwhile, here is a transcript of the statement read by Bennett at a press conference:
Thank you all for your patience.
In 1999, I was retained by a female employee of the National Restaurant Association concerning several instances of sexual harassment by the then CEO. She made a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the CEO.
Those complaints were resolved in an agreement with her acceptance of a monetary settlement. She and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now nor in discussing the matter privately or publicly. In fact it would be extremely painful to do so.
She is grateful that she is able to return to her government career, where she is extremely happy serving the American people to the very best of her ability. She looks forward to working hard for them we face the significant challenges that lie ahead.
She wishes to thank the media for the restraint they have shown her and thank her family for their love and support, her colleagues and her supervisors for their patience and forbearance, and her advisors for their council, and most of all her dear husband of 26 years.
Everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace. Sexual harassment is unfortunately very much alive and with us even today and women must fight it at all kinds of workplaces and at all levels. My client stands by this complaint she made. Thank you...