Ex-Boyfriend Corroborates Bialek's Cain Claims - NBC Chicago

Ex-Boyfriend Corroborates Bialek's Cain Claims

Dr. Victor Zuckerman says Bialek told him of Cain's unwanted sexual advances



    Dr. Mark Zuckerman says Sharon Bialek met Cain in the late '90s and told him about about receiving unwanted sexual advances at the time. (Published Monday, Nov. 14, 2011)

    The ex-boyfriend of Sharon Bialek came out Monday to support her claims of sexual harassment by Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

    Dr. Victor Zuckerman is one of two people Bialek claimed could corroborate her story, but his identity was not revealed until now.

    Bialek claims Cain made sexual advances toward her in 1997 when he headed the National Restaurant Association and she was an employee.

    Zuckerman, a pediatrician who used to practice in the suburbs but is now based in Louisiana, appeared at a news conference with Bialek's attorney Gloria Allred and said he decided to come forward after Cain's news conference where he claimed "I don't even know who this woman is."

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    Zuckerman said the two were dating at the time the harassment allegedly occured, and that Bialek told him about sitting next Cain at a luncheon and dinner during the Chicago NRA convention, and described him as a man of "great wit, warmth and public speaking abilities."

    Zuckerman said he met Cain at the convention's final event and that he and Bialek were invited by Cain to an exclusive after-party.

    Months later when Bialek lost her job with the NRA, Zuckerman said he suggested she reach out to Cain to help her find a new one, and paid for her travel and lodging to Washington D.C. for a meeting. That's where Bialek says Cain made the unwanted sexual advances in a car.

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    "I can confirm that when she returned she was upset. She said that something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner. She said she had handled it and didn't want to discuss it any further," Zuckerman said. "I respected her request and haven't discussed it since until recently."

    Zuckerman said the two broke up months later, but remained friends, speaking on the phone every few months.

    After word of the first two Cain accusers became public, Zuckerman says he called Bialek to see if she was one of the cases.

    "Sharon became livid as she heard his denials of sexual harassment. She felt she had to respond to these denials by going public with her experience," Zuckerman said.

    The Cain campaign, which responded publicily to Bialek's accusation last week, believes she is working to profit from her newfound stardom.

    "Who is Sharon Bialek?" Cain's advisers asked in a statement outlining the Chicago-area woman's "long and troubled history, from the courts to personal finances.

    Bialek said Wednesday she was disappointed but not surprised by his remarks, and despite accusations, she maintains she didn't come forward with her story to make money.

    "My life's an open book," she said. "If you know Sharon Bialek, what you see is what you get."

    Bialek explained she filed bankruptcy once to help with family medical bills and a second time in a custody battle for her son.

    Bialek said she welcomes a joint meeting with the other women who have accused Cain of sexual harassment.

    "I encourage the other women who haven't come forward to please do so," she said.

    Allred said Monday it's time for Cain to come clean.

    "After Mr. Cain reviews Dr. Zuckerman's statement, he needs to be honest and forthcoming with the public about the fact that he does know Sharon Bialek, in addition he need to reveal all of the details about what happened when she met with him in Washington, D.C. in 1997," Allred said.