I-Team

Ex-boyfriend backs Bialek's sexual harassment claim

Monday, November 14, 2011

With attorney Gloria Allred at his side, Dr. Victor Zuckerman gave his account Monday of what happened between his former girlfriend, Sharon Bialek, and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

"When she returned, she was upset," Zuckerman said. "She said that something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner. She said she handled it and didn't want to talk about it any further."

Dr. Zuckerman's version of events contradicts the candidate's assertions that he never met Bialek.

Zuckerman said Monday that he didn't witness the alleged sexual harassment. But he did confirm that his former girlfriend had met Cain.

This Cain controversy shows no signs of going away. Last week's allegations of sexual harassment against Cain by a Chicago woman have become this week's affirmation of what she had to say: Bialek's ex-boyfriend came to her support Monday, verifying everything she said and more.

"During the National Restaurant Association convention in Chicago, Sharon indeed did meet and spend time with Mr. Cain," Zuckerman said at a news conference, describing an after party Cain had invited them to in a hotel suite after a National Restaurant Association event in Chicago.

The former suburban Chicago pediatrician says he knows that his ex-girlfriend Bialek was with Cain because, he said, she introduced him to Cain and attended a small cocktail party at Cain's invitation.

After Cain denied knowing Bialek last week, Zuckerman said he decided to come forward to support her story.

"I remember Sharon saying that she and Mr. Cain had been at many of the same events during that week," Zuckerman said. "I also recall Sharon telling me that at these events she was seated next to him, both at a luncheon where he was a keynote speaker and at a dinner at Marche restaurant in Chicago."

Zuckerman said he recommended Bialek contact Herman Cain in 1997 when she lost her job at the National Restaurant Association. It was during that meeting that Bialek claims Cain groped her.

"I can confirm that when she returned she was upset," Zuckerman said. "She said something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner. She said she handled and didn't want to talk further."

Zuckerman, who had a practice in northwest suburban Bloomingdale before moving to Shreveport, Louisiana, said he contacted his former girlfriend after the initial allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against Cain.

'When Mr. Cain came into the national spotlight, we reminded each other that this was the man we had met so many years earlier," said Zuckerman.

Zuckerman said he suggested Bialek contact attorney Gloria Allred, who also arranged Monday's news conference and again urged Cain to "come clean."

"If all of the allegations of all of the women are true, then he is a serial liar and serial sexual harasser," Allred said.

Bialek spoke with ABC 7 reporter Ben Bradley late Monday afternoon outside her Glenview home.

"I'm here to stay, and what happened today was a great thing, and there's more to come," Bialek said.

Bialek said that she would let the public judge whether her ex-boyfriend's comments strengthened her case.

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