Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is It Ciao Baby Cucina for Herman Cain?

Some details are emerging on the Herman Cain sexual harassment story, as reported by PJ Media:

According to the female source, Mr. Cain and the woman had been with a large group for a long evening of food and drink at the Ciao Baby Cucina, a restaurant near NRA headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. This was a normal routine, as the trade association worked with the food and beverage industry. Afterwards, Mr. Cain allegedly took the woman by taxi to his apartment, where she spent the night and woke up.

The female source told PJ Media that she witnessed the woman and Herman Cain break away from the large group as part of a smaller group.

Neither source has direct knowledge of what occurred at Mr. Cain's residence, but several days after the alleged incident, the female source witnessed the woman returning to her workplace "distraught." "She was very upset."

One source told PJ Media: "Some people didn’t believe [the accuser]" at the time she made the allegation. The female source recalls the woman continued working at the NRA for several weeks after the encounter; the male source recalls the woman continued working there for a few months.

Both sources claim that during this period following the incident while the woman was still employed, the NRA’s human resources office held many "closed door meetings" that included her. The woman's parents retained legal counsel and arranged an undisclosed financial settlement. The New York Times has reported that a settlement was made with a female employee that constituted $35,000, or one year's salary.
We still need more facts and a timeline of the three complaints as this meager information could go four directions: (a) Date rape. (b) Regrets on a one-nght stand. (c) Nothing actually happened beyond sleeping off a night of over-drinking at Cain's pad possibly accompanied by partial memory loss. All we really know from this report is that the young staffer became too upset to continue working with Cain. (d) Office gossipers filling in a few fleeting observations with lots of innuendo.

A timeline of where this incident fits into the complaints by the two other accusers is important. Even if nothing happened beyond giving a young coworker a ride home, in the poisoned aftermath of office gossip other women who worked for him may well have begun to attribute ulterior motives to every little innocent thing Cain said or did.

In the vernacular this is called "shitting where you eat". In the parlance of sexual harassment lawsuts it's called creating a hostile work environment. Even if it's just gossip and innuendo, one can see why an employer would settle. And if it's not just gossip and innuendo ...

On the other hand, can the facts of this story be shifting because one or more or perhaps all of the participants and witnesses were blotto at the time and don't really remember what exactly happened?

No woman is going to want to come forward and say:
"I got drunk and woke up in my boss's apartment, I didn't want to go back to work. I talked to my mom and she talked to my dad and my dad hired a lawyer, and the lawyer said I had to go back to the office so that we could get the most out of my severance pay claim. Now I've got a great career and family and would just as soon forget the whole thing. But don't call me a liar. What happened, happened."
And Herman Cain, what is he supposed to say if that is the truth of it? After all, a gentleman should never tell.

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