Cain Now Recalls the Details of His Sexual Harassment Cases

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Herman Cain initially said Monday he didn't remember the sexual harassment allegations against him when he led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, but as the day -- and media scrutiny -- wore on, the memories have come back. "If the Restaurant Association did a settlement, I am not -- I wasn't even aware of it and I hope it wasn't for much, because nothing happened," Cain told Fox News in the morning. But he told the same network Monday evening he recalled some details after all: one woman got about three months salary and, oh yeah, her job performance "was not up to par."

In his interview with Greta van Susteren, Cain remembered quite a few details about what happened and when it was resolved.
Woman One:
  • What happened: Cain said he remembered one incident from the sexual harassment complaint: "She was in my office one day, and I made a gesture saying -- and I was standing close to her -- and I made a gesture saying you are the same height as my wife ... And I brought my hand up to my chin saying, 'My wife comes up to my chin.'" No one saw it, Cain said, because "she couldn't find any witnesses to corroborate her story," even though, "That one little incident about the height thing was in my office, door open, plain view. My secretary is sitting right outside the office."
  • Who she was: "She was a writer. She was in the communications area." She worked on the same floor as him in the Washington, D.C. office of the lobbying group, and she was in her 30s or early 40s. Oh, and she was bad at her job: "I do recall that her performance, it had been told to me by her boss, was not up to par ... Her boss, if he didn't think she was doing the job, I said, Well, you, along with the human resources department, figure out what you want to do, but do it the right way because there are procedures for letting people go if their performance is not up to par." But despite all that, "I don't remember her name at all..."
  • How it ended: The settlement process took six to nine months, Cain said. The general counsel came in his office one day and said she would get "Thousands, but I don't remember a number. But then he said, The good news is because there was no basis for this, we ended up settling for what would have been a termination settlement ... Maybe three months' salary or something like that, just vaguely trying to recall it."
Woman Two:
  • What happened:  "I'm totally unaware as to any charges coming from this other person."
  • Who she was: "She had been a longer-term employee ... She worked in our governmental affairs department and she worked in the function that managed our political action committee.
  • How it ended: No settlement. "I would know if there had been some formal complaint because my general counsel would have advised me to settle if it was serious for whatever reason. But I'm not even aware that a complaint was made."
At one point, van Susteren seemed to speak for all the ladies of the world who don't want to be seen as uptight bitches but also do not want their anatomy to be discussed in the office. "A lot of guys don't know what sexual harassment is," she told Cain, smiling a little as though she were speaking from experience. "They just think they're complimenting a woman." Their conversation got slightly weird:
VAN SUSTEREN: Got a roaming eye at all?
CAIN: A roaming eye?
CAIN: I enjoy flowers, like everybody else.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I mean.
CAIN: No. No, not at all.
VAN SUSTEREN: Not at all.
CAIN: Well, I wouldn't say not at all. Depends upon what you mean and distinctly what you mean.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I'm trying to -- you know, women see sexual harassment sometimes very differently than men.
CAIN: Correct.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are you one of those guys in a group who can say sort of dopey things that women can later -- you know, often, when they go into the ladies' room, they talk about the guys, they say, Did you hear what Mr. Cain said or what Herman Cain said? Are you, like, one of those guys who says sort of dopey, inappropriate things in groups?
CAIN: No. The only thing that I could be guilty of saying in a group of men and women is paying a compliment to the woman. For example, if I'm with friends and I'm there and my wife is there, I might compliment my friend on, you know, how lucky he is to, you know, have married up because some men marry up, and you know, those kind of compliments, just complimenting somebody else.
So I would, you know, say that about, or I would, you know, pay a lady a compliment. If she changed her hair, you know, I might say something like, Oh, you changed your hairstyle. It's very becoming. So I would make compliments to women in group settings like that, sure.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.