Herman Cain's accusers: Should they be allowed to tell their side?

Confidentiality agreements bar the women who say the GOP frontrunner harassed them in the '90s from going public. Time to waive the gag order?

A confidentiality agreement is keeping Herman Cain's accusers quiet, but lawyers say that contract has already been breached by the presidential hopeful.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The list of sexual harassment allegations leveled at Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain has grown, with new accusations from a third unidentified women who worked at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) during his tenure. Right-wing radio host Steve Deace and GOP pollster Chris Wilson have supplied fresh details about other alleged harrassment incidents. Meanwhile, Joel Bennet, the lawyer for one of the two original NRA accusers — who'd lamented for days that a confidentiality clause in his client's severance deal has prevented her from going public with her side of the story — publicly pointed out that Cain breached the agreement first by saying disparaging things about the women. Nevertheless, Bennet announced Wednesday night that his client probably wouldn't talk to the press, after all. But if she changes her mind, should she be allowed to talk?

Yes. Let these women tell their side: Gag orders generally shouldn't be broken "without careful deliberation and without the consent of both sides," says The Washington Post in an editorial. But in this case, now that the basic shape of the accusations and payouts have surfaced, "voters are entitled to know the facts.... And they can learn them only if both sides are allowed their say." Cain may not like this airing of dirty laundry, but it's part of playing in the big leagues.

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