Cain Sexual Harassment Accuser: 'I Was Not Paid to Come Forward'

Herman Cain camp references Sharon Bialek's "severe financial difficulties."

ByABC News
November 7, 2011, 7:22 PM

Nov. 8, 2011 — -- Sharon Bialek, the woman who went public Monday with an accusation that GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain had sexually harassed her in 1997, said today that despite questions raised by Cain's campaign, she was not financially compensated for speaking out.

"I was not paid to come forward, nor was I promised any employment. Nothing at all," Bialek said on ABC News' "Good Morning America". "I'm just doing this because it's the right thing to do."

At a press conference in New York Monday, Bialek said that during a 1997 encounter Cain had wanted her to trade sex for a job.

During an interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC News Tuesday afternoon, Cain denied all allegations of sexual harassment. "I can categorically say, I have never acted inappropriately with anyone period. As far as these latest charges, I don't even remember… I reject all of those charges."

Cain said he didn't remember Sharon Bialek by name or recognize her after she came forward Monday.

Cain's communication director J.D. Gordon said in a statement late Monday that Cain's opponents were behind Bialek's public accusations, noting her representation by high-profile attorney and Democratic supporter Gloria Allred.

"After attacking Herman Cain through anonymous accusers for a week, his opponents have now convinced a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy, to falsely accuse the Republican frontrunner of events allegedly occurring well over a decade ago for which there is no record, nor even a complaint filed," the statement said. "It is noteworthy that Gloria Allred is a celebrity lawyer who specializes in generating publicity for herself and her clients."

READ: Sharon Bialek: Herman Cain Not Fit for President 'Until He Tells the Truth'

Bialek said that she first contacted Allred -- who boasts a past client list including a who's who from celebrity sex scandals -- because she said, "If you're going to do this, you've got to do this the right way." For her part, Allred said that she took on the case pro bono, "for the public good without charge."

Cain is expected to address Bialek's accusations at a press conference later today. At least three other women have accused Cain of unwanted sexual advances, but Bialek is the only one to come forward publicly.

READ: Chicago Woman Claims Herman Cain Wanted Her to Trade Sex for Job

Cain Accuser's Rocky Financial, Job History

According to public documents reviewed by ABC News, Bialek has a history of job changes and financial woes over the past two decades.

The 50-year-old Chicago woman has declared bankruptcy twice, and has lost multiple court judgments for debts totalling more than $10,000.

Bialek filed for bankruptcy in 1991 and again in 2001. Among the debts listed in 2001 are over $14,000 in credit card charges and more than $17,000 owed to the lawyer who handled a paternity case.

As of August 2011, she owed the Illinois Dept. of Revenue $4,384. By 2009, she owed the federal government $5,176 in taxes for years 2004 and 2005. There was also a lien for $885 filed against her in 2006 by a company that installed a water heater in her apartment. It was not clear if Bialek has repaid the debts.

In 2000, a judge awarded plaintiff Broadacre Management $4930.77 for unpaid rent, which included court costs. Broadacre was listed as a creditor on her 2001 Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. Last year Bialek lost a default judgment for more than $3,500 to Illinois Lending, according to Cook County online court records, and in 2005 lost another judgment in a separate case for more than $3,000.

Bialek and fiance Mark Harwood have lived together for four years, according to Harwood, sharing a home in Mundelein, Ill.. Bialek is now a stay-at-home mother.

Harwood told ABC News' affiliate WLS his fiance had a "huge heart" and is "always trying to do the right thing."

"She's of the same political persuasion as Herman Cain," Harwood told WLS. "There was no money on the table to go and have an interview. This is truly about an American girl who's got a big heart and wants to do the right thing."

Bialek's father Chester, 85, told New York's Daily News that his daughter was a political conservative, very honest, and "would not lie" or "make anything up."

He also told the paper, "She's had a lot of jobs, and some problems, but I don't want to get too personal."

Before working at the NRA, Bialek had hosted a cooking show for nine years, worked for Revlon and for Easter Seals, according to Allred. Between 1993 and 1996 she worked in marketing at four different companies, according to WLS.

The NRA said Bialek worked for its education foundation from December 1996 to June 1997. Bialek said she was let go because the NRA didn't feel the foundation had raised enough money.

Bialek said she contacted Cain, whom she'd met at an NRA function in Chicago, in the hopes that he would help her get a new job. While visiting relatives of her then-boyfriend, a pediatrician, in New Jersey in 1997, she took a train to Washington to meet with Cain.