Herman Cain accused a former staffer, Republican consultant Curt Anderson, of leaking news of settlements made on his behalf to avoid sexual harassment complaints.
In an interview with Forbes, the Republican presidential candidate said Anderson and his wife were two of the only people he told about the late-’90s settlements.
“I told my wife about this in 1999 and I’ve got nothing to hide,” Cain said, according to Forbes. “When I sat down with my general campaign consultant Curt Anderson in a private room in our campaign offices in 2003 we discussed opposition research on me. It was a typical campaign conversation. I told him that there was only one case, one set of charges, one woman while I was at the National Restaurant Association. Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them. I don’t recall anyone else being in the room when I told him.”
Anderson recently began working for the campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
But Anderson denied being the leak that led to Politico’s report on the story.
“I’ve known Herman Cain for about 7 years,” Anderson told ABC News in an email. “I was one of several consultants on his Senate race in 2004 and was proud to help him. I’d never heard any of these allegations until I read them in Politico, nor does anything I read in the press change my opinion that Herman is an upstanding man and a gentleman. I have great respect for Herman and his character and I would never speak ill of him, on the record or off the record. That’s true today and it’s not going to change.”
The Perry campaign likewise denied having anything to do with leaking information about Cain.
“No one at our campaign was involved in this story in any way,” said Perry communications director Ray Sullivan. “Any claim to the contrary is patently false. The first we learned of it was when we read the story in Politico.”