Politico reports that two women in the employ of Herman Cain reported sexual harassment on his part and received financial payouts. At first Cain evaded questions:
During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.
The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.
In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.
Cain's explanations then started to shift:
The Daily Beast: Cain spent Monday morning denying he was ever accused of sexual harassment against two women in the 1990s. Then he acknowledged the allegations but said they were 'false' and 'baseless,' while saying he knew 'nothing' of a cash settlement. Now he acknowledged that he knew about a settlement that was offered to one of the women.
New York Times: Cain's shifting explanations and the gaps in the story made it hard to determine the impact of the revelations on his long-term prospects in states like Iowa, whose crucial caucuses are just two months away.
Politico put together a video showing Cain's changing narrative: