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Cain accuser says candidate's exit 'bittersweet'

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:18 AM EST, Tue December 6, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cain has only himself to blame, Sharon Bialek says
  • She says she has no sympathy for the former contender
  • Cain suspended his campaign Saturday but denies any impropriety

(CNN) -- The woman whose public accusation of sexual harassment helped push Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain out of the 2012 race called his decision to suspend the campaign "bittersweet" Monday.

Sharon Bialek told CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" that she was happy Cain decided to halt his presidential bid -- "but it saddened me because even though he did so, he still has not spoken the truth."

"He's trying to blame everything that's happened on everyone else except the one person that he should blame it on, and that's himself," she said.

Cain ended his run for the White House on Saturday, saying he would focus instead on his family and on promoting his economic proposals from outside Washington.

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He called the allegations against him "false and untrue," but said he was bowing out after assessing the impact allegations by Bialek and others were having on his wife, his family and his supporters.

Earlier, Bialek told reporters during an appearance with her attorney, Gloria Allred, that she didn't feel sorry for Cain -- "not any more."

"I did initially," she said. "But when he kept going on and on and lying and making me out to be some troubled woman, then I really stopped feeling sorry for that man."

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather's Pizza and a radio talk-show host, vaulted to the front ranks of GOP contenders in October. But his campaign began to stumble when news emerged that two women had accused him of sexual harassment in the 1990s, when he was president of the National Restaurant Association.

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In November, Bialek told reporters that after a 1997 dinner in which she had sought Cain's help finding a job, he unexpectedly put his hand on her leg beneath her skirt and pushed her head toward his crotch. She said Cain told her, "You want a job, right?" but stopped when she protested.

One of the women who filed complaints at the restaurant association, Karen Kraushaar, decided to come forward soon after Bialek went public. Then on November 28, an Atlanta businesswoman, Ginger White, said she had a 13-year affair with Cain that lasted until shortly before he launched his presidential bid.

Cain's campaign accused supporters of one of his Republican rivals, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, of planting the initial story. The candidate called Bialek a "troubled" woman put up to hurting his campaign by Democratic activists and said he had never met her. And while he admitted knowing White and helping her out financially, he said they were just friends.

Bialek told CNN she would have regretted staying silent if Cain "had gone further in the race and perhaps been elected president."

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Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

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