Cain risks deeper crisis over harassment claims

November 2, 2011 03:07

WASHINGTON - A crisis facing US Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain threatened to escalate on Tuesday even as he declared himself the victim of a "smear campaign" over allegations of sexual harassment.

Cain spent the day attempting to clear up confusion over conflicting accounts he gave about the controversy, in which two women reportedly accused him of sexual harassment when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

The lawyer for one of the women asked the association to release her from a confidentiality agreement to allow her to tell her side of the story, since Cain was telling his, The Washington Post reported.

"It's just frustrating that Herman Cain is going around bad-mouthing the two complainants, and my client is blocked by a confidentiality agreement," lawyer Joel Bennett told the newspaper.

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