BY: Andrea Peyser
Gold diggers — unite!
Sharon Bialek is 50, out of work and, according to one who knows her, she’s a smooth operator living way above her means. From the look of her heavily painted face, she’s also soon to be in acute need of a new tub of eyeliner.
Enter Herman Cain.
Bialek pranced into the Friars Club yesterday with lawyer — who else? — Gloria Allred aboard patent-leather do-me pumps. She proceeded to spill a dirty little secret she claims to have harbored these last 14 years — presidential front-runner and fellow Republican Herman Cain made a pass at my junk!
With that, she became the fourth woman to accuse the GOP presidential front-runner of sexual harassment — and the first to proudly show her face.
She did so with the breathy giddiness of a gal who’s read too many bodice-rippers. Bialek, who had her bleached-blond hair set in waves for the occasion, recounted with a broad grin the night back in 1997 when she flirted like a tart with the “inspirational” Mr. Cain.
“Mr. Cain sat next to me at that luncheon [inChicago] and spoke to me extensively . . . He was incredibly inspirational,” she said. “When he sat down I said to him, ‘When are you running for president?’ ”
At the time, she was employed for a year and change at the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation, doing “industry relations” or something. Cain was the association’s CEO.
But then she was fired, “devastated.” On the advice of her “boyfriend,” she proceeded to stalk Cain toWashington, ostensibly to hit him up for a job.
Bialek said she arrived at her hotel to learn Cain had magically upgraded her to a suite. They had drinks, plural. They ate Italian.
“During dinner, Mr. Cain looked at me and said, ‘Why are you here?’ ” Good question.
Then, said Bialek, Cain, who she remembers wore a suit jacket, no tie — I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast — drove her to the offices of the National Restaurant Association, which, as far as I know, were closed for the night. In the car, she said, he went caveman.
“He suddenly reached over and put his hand on my leg, under my skirt and reached for my genitals,” she said. “He also reached for my head and put it toward his crotch. I said, ‘What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend.’ ” She said she was shocked and told Cain it wasn’t what she came for.
Cain responded, she said. “You want a job, right?”
She refused his advances, and he drove her back to her hotel.
Now, I love a good romantic farce as much as the next bored housewife. But the question remains: Why sit on this seeming sexual assault for 14 years?
According to someone who knows Bialek: “She has a very infectious personality. It’s easy to see how she won [Cain] over. But the reality of her situation is — she’s a complete gold digger. It’s all about the money.”
The friend said she comes from a lower-middle-income family, but lives in a posh apartment running from bill collectors. “Most of her jobs ended in termination. It’s always the employer’s fault, not hers.
“This is a lady who lives off the system. She is hellbent on finding a way of never having to work and living the lifestyle she wants to live, a very affluent lifestyle. In my next life, I want to come back as her.”
The sad part is that Bialek has a 13-year-old son who must live with the shame and media scrutiny.
Fourteen years after the incident, an untraumatized Bialek said she approached Cain at a Tea Party conference last month inChicago– and was smitten again.
An “uncomfortable” Cain remembered her.
“I wanted to see if he would be man enough to own up to what he had done . . . During his speech, he had the same infectious presence and command as he did when I had heard him speak the first time.”
The last decade and change haven’t been so good. Bialek is unemployed, has a son. Her boyfriend’s long gone.
The gold rush is on.