WASHINGTON — In an explosive allegation, a Georgia woman said Monday she and Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair that lasted nearly until the former businessman announced his candidacy for the White House several months ago.
“Here we go again. I didn’t do anything wrong,” Cain said in a pre-emptive denial that lumped the accusation of a consensual affair in with earlier claims of sexual harassment.
But the woman, Ginger White, said in an interview with Fox 5 Atlanta that over the years, Cain bought her airplane tickets so she could join him in different cities.
“It was fun,” she said. “It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time. And it was exciting.”
In its report, the television station said White had Cain’s name in her cellphone contacts, and when its reporter called the number, Cain answered.
“He told us he knew ‘Ginger White’ but said he was trying to help her financially,” the station said.
Cain’s candidacy was soaring in the polls until he was hit less than a month ago with accusations that he sexually harassed several women and groped one while he was a high-ranking official at the National Restaurant Association. He has since fallen back in the surveys, and been eclipsed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the race to emerge as the principal conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.
In a written statement released immediately after the story aired, Cain’s campaign said detractors were trying to “derail the Cain Train with more accusations of past events that never happened.”
Cain was scheduled to attend a fundraising event in the Virginia suburbs outside Washington later in the evening.
In the televised interview, White said she decided to come forward after seeing Cain attack his other accusers in an appearance on television.
“It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of, and being treated as if they were automatically lying, and the burden of proof was on them,” she said. “I felt bad for them.”