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Pushback Against Cain Accuser Begins

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 8, 2011 2:30PM

Now that Sharon Bialek has become the first woman to come forward and accuse onetime GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain of sexual harassment the focus of the media, as these stories often go, now turns to reporting on Bialek's backstory.

What's emerging is a story of a woman who, like many of us, has had her share of financial struggles, but one whom supporters say wouldn't make the accusations out of the blue.

Bialek, a graduate of Schurz High School on the Northwest side, twice filed for bankruptcy and both the IRS and Illinois Department of Revenue have filed liens against her for unpaid taxes.

Bialek also dated White Sox television analyst Steve Stone when Stone was giving tips for all you young pitchers out there for the Cubs in the 1980s.

In the Sun-Times, WIND-AM morning personality and former NBC 5 reporter Amy Jacobson told columnist Michael Sneed she saw Bialek and Cain have a moment at September's TeaCon.

Quoth Jacobson: “I had turned on TV to find out who was Cain’s accuser, and I almost fell over when I saw it was Sharon Bialek accusing Cain of groping her genitals.”

“I was waiting for Herman Cain’s ‘Accuser No. 4’ to surface — and up pops Sharon!”

“I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked.”

“I recall Sharon was hell bent on going backstage at the TeaCon convention — where she cornered him,” said Jacobson.

“I was surprised to hear she claims she did not know Cain was going to be there. Cain was expected and was late.”

Bialek's fiancee, Mark Harwood, said he was unaware of her allegations against Cain until last Friday, when she told him she was going to New York for a press conference. But he stands by her.

"It's not an anti-political thing. It's not a money thing," said Harwood, who shares a large, five-bedroom home with Bialek in north suburban Mundelein. "She's just trying to do the right thing, and that takes guts."

Bialek's father, Chester, also said he supports his daughter's decision to come forward.

Cain, meanwhile, will hold a press conference in Phoenix this afternoon to address the accusations that have derailed his campaign.

[Update] Bialek, with attorney Gloria Allred, took to the Today show to refute allegations she came forward for money. Video is below.

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