Herman Cain accuser stands by complaint, won't go public

Joel Bennett, an attorney for a woman who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment while both worked at the National Restaurant Association, speaks during a news conference outside his office in Washington, Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. Bennett said she complained about a "series of inappropriate behaviors" in good faith and accepted a financial agreement. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Updated 5:47 p.m. Eastern Time

The lawyer for one of the woman who received a financial settlement after alleging sexual harassment by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain when he was head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s said Friday that the woman stands by her allegations but is choosing not to discuss them publicly.

The woman "sees no value in revisiting" the complaint, attorney Joel Bennett said, saying the woman and her husband feel it would be "extremely painful to do so."

"My client stands by the complaint that she made," said Bennett, adding that "she would disagree with the statement's [Cain has] made concerning her complaint."

"She made a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the CEO," he said.Bennett did not provide details of the allegations but did say that multiple incidents took place "over a period of time at least a month or two."

Cain has flatly denied all allegations of sexual misconduct and complained of a "witch hunt" against him. In response to the statement, Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon said, "We look forward to focusing our attention on the real issues impacting this country -- like fixing this broken economy and putting Americans back to work through our 9-9-9 Plan, as well as strengthening national security."

Bennett said the woman is not interested in "exposing herself personally...she prefers her privacy and not to be a public figure." He said she appreciates the media and public respecting her privacy.

Bennett represents one of two woman who settled with Cain over alleged sexual misconduct; the Associated Press reported that a third woman has also accused him of improper conduct. According to a report by the New York Times, Bennett's client received settlement of $35,000, though Bennett is not discussing the amount other than to say "it was a monetary settlement."

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Cain has given conflicting accounts of his knowledge of the accusations and the settlements, which he first said he was unaware of before discussing them specifically.

Bennett told CBS News earlier that Cain did not sign the initial settlement agreement, and that it's conceivable that Cain didn't even know about it. He repeated that assertion Friday afternoon.

Still, he said "Mr. Cain knows the incidents that were alleged," saying they involved "very specific instances."

"If he chooses not to remember or not acknowledge those, that's his issue," he said. Bennett said the woman was married at the time of the incident, and remains married today.

The National Restaurant Association said in a statement released as Bennett was speaking that it "can confirm that more than a decade ago, in July 1999, Mr. Bennett's client filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the Association's existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Mr. Herman Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint. The Association and Mr. Bennett's client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr. Cain was not a party to that agreement. The agreement contains mutual confidentiality obligations."

The statement went on to say that the restaurant association had agreed to waive the confidentiality provisions if the woman wanted to discuss the allegations. Bennett said he and his client "have not asked them to lift it beyond making this statement." He also expressed concern about violating "confidentiality and non-disparagement" provisions in the agreement. 

A poll out Friday, taken after the revelations concerning sexual misconduct allegations came out, found Cain neck-and-neck with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the lead in the Republican primary.

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