Nov. 8, 2011 — -- One of the women who received a cash settlement after accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment has been identified as federal government civil servant Karen Kraushaar, now a spokesperson for the Inspector General at the Internal Revenue Service.
Her attorney, Joel Bennett, said, "I cannot deny that," after her identity was reported by the website "The Daily." Last week, Bennett said his client had reported a "series" of incidents involving Cain when she worked in the communications department of the National Restaurant Association, where Cain served as CEO from 1996 to 1999. Bennett said his client "preferred" not to be identified but did not want to try to "control the media."
Kraushaar told ABC News that she wanted to "do a joint press conference if the other women are interested." She also said that the Cain controversy was "not the way I wanted to get my 15 minutes of fame."
Kraushaar told the New York Times in an interview published Tuesday afternoon that she planned to go public now that her name is known.
"When you are being sexually harassed in the workplace, you are extremely vulnerable," she said. "You do whatever you can to quickly get yourself into a job some place safe and that is what I thought I had achieved when I left."
She said that her own allegations should be considered part of a "body of evidence" with those of Cain's other accusers.
On Friday, Bennett said during a press conference that "Mr. Cain knows the specifics" of the harassment complaint that she had filed against him in 1999. "It had very specific incidents in it. If he chooses not to remember or to not acknowledge those, that's his issue." The NRA had waived the confidentiality agreement that barred her from discussing the complaint, but she elected not to go public.
Bennett said he did not want to characterize "what was physical and what was verbal," but that Cain's behavior "qualified as sexual harassment in our opinion."
Now 55, Kraushaar has authored a children's book, is married and lives in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. Prior to working for the NRA, she'd been a reporter and editor and had worked for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. After receiving a five-figure settlement from the NRA and leaving the trade group, she went to work in communications for the Department of Justice, where she was the spokesperson for the agency during the Elian Gonzalez repatriation controversy. She then moved to the IRS, where she also worked in communications, and is now communications director for the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Cain said that all he could recall was making an innocuous gesture to Kraushaar while she was in his office with the door open and his secretary just outside. "I referenced this lady's height and I was standing near her, and I did this saying, you're the same height of my wife, because my wife is five feet tall and she comes up to my chin," Cain explained to CNN. "This lady's five feet tall and she came up to my chin. So obviously she thought that that was too close for comfort. It showed up in the actual allegation."
"Other than that, I can't even recall what some of the other things were," said Cain.
Politico reported that Kraushaar received a $45,000 payment from the trade group as part of a settlement that also included a promise of confidentiality. Politico did not identify her by name.
The Cain campaign has categorically denied all claims of sexual harassment. Most recently, after Sharon Bialek came forward to allege sexual harassment by Cain, campaign spokesman J.D. Gordon Cain responded with a statement that said, "All allegations of harassment against Mr. Cain are completely false. Mr. Cain has never harassed anyone." Cain denied the allegations again in an interview with Jonathan Karl of ABC News, saying he did not even remember Bialek.
A second woman who accused Cain of sexual harassment while he was head of the NRA received a reported settlement of $35,000. Now in her 40s, she currently works as a registered lobbyist in New Jersey.