Herman Cain accused of 13-year affair with businesswoman
Herman Cain has been accused of having a 13-year affair with a businesswoman, providing a potentially lethal blow to a presidential bid already faltering under the weight of repeated sexual allegations.
The former pizza executive strenuously denied the detailed claims made by Ginger White, a woman he described as "an acquaintance who I thought was a friend".
Miss White said they met after a business presentation by Mr Cain in the late 1990s and that for more than a decade he had flown her to cities around the United States where they had sex in upmarket hotels.
The single mother of two said that their physical relationship had ended eight months ago, shortly before he declared his presidential bid, but that they had spoken as recently as September.
Her mobile phone bills showed she had contact with him 61 times in recent months, often receiving calls or texts in the early hours of the morning.
"He made it very intriguing. It was fun. It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time," she told Fox Atlanta.
Mr Cain admitted he knew Miss White from his native Georgia but said she only had his phone number because he was trying to help her find a job and that claims of an affair were "completely baseless".
"Detractors are trying once again to derail the Cain Train with more accusations of past events that never happened.
"The Cain Campaign is not surprised that another female accuser has come forward due to the fact that earlier allegations were unable to force Herman Cain to drop his presidential bid to renew America," his campaign said in a statement.
Miss White's claims come weeks after it was revealed that two women had been paid compensation by the National Restaurant Association after they complained Mr Cain had sexually harassed them while he was CEO of the organisation. One woman was paid $45,000 (£29,000), while the other received $35,000 (£25,500).
Earlier this month, a third woman, Sharon Bialek, publicly accused Mr Cain of sexually assaulting her in his car in 1997. She said said she met with the former Godfather's Pizza executive after being made redundant but that when she asked for help he tried to put his hand up her skirt and pushed her head towards his crotch, saying: "You want a job, right?"
Miss White said he hadn't intended to go public with her claims but changed her mind after Mr Cain's campaign "demonised” the women.
She admitted that she struggled financially and records show that she once filed for bankruptcy and had been served with a number of eviction notices, including one as recently as this month. Unlike previous accusers, Miss White claims to have detailed evidence to corroborate her story.
Mr Cain has denied all the accusations but they have nonetheless caused major damage to his bid to become the Republican candidate to take on President Barack Obama in next year's election.
For several weeks he led in the polls but has since fallen to third place behind former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney