I refuse to leave my reputation under a dark cloud that has no relation to the truth.
On September 24, 2011, I won the Florida Republican Presidency 5 Straw Poll by a large margin over the next closest candidate. It was an upset victory and helped propel me to the position of frontrunner in the national polls for the Republican presidential nomination. My messages of common sense solutions and tax code replacement were clearly resonating with the American people.
What happened next brought my campaign to an abrupt and unexpected end – a series of scurrilous accusations, sensationalized by an onslaught of media coverage. All this made it impossible for me to continue without subjecting my family – particularly my wife of 45 years – to more pain than any decent man could ask his family to endure.
The accusations were false. I have never sexually harassed a woman and I did not have an affair with Ginger White. Until now, I have never offered the facts that expose these accusations as lies, although I have been in possession of them. It is now time to do so, not only because the false accusations have received renewed attention with the publication of a book that discusses them, but more importantly because I refuse to live my life, pursue my radio and professional career or do anything else that God has left for me to do in this world with a dark cloud attached to my reputation that is not consistent with the truth.
Here are the facts:
During the week of November 14, 2011, a news story was reported about me having been accused of sexual harassment while I was president of the National Restaurant Association. The female employee who made the charges was being terminated and wanted a large sum of money as part of her termination. She threatened to file a lawsuit and the Association decided to let the litigation proceed because the Association had concluded that the charges were false.
The accusation never made it to court. A review by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that the charges were baseless. Despite trying to thereafter negotiate a settlement greater than normal, the accuser ended up receiving typical termination pay.
During the week of November 21, 2011 (a week later), another former National Restaurant Association female employee went public with sexual harassment charges. My campaign staff and I had no idea that this was coming. We first heard the charges when she read them during a press conference carried by CNN with her attorney, Gloria Allred, attending and also speaking at the press conference. The former employee had been employed by the Association's Educational Foundation based in Chicago.
As we watched the press conference and heard the outlandish charges being read by the employee, I commented to staff members in the room that I did not even remember the accuser, especially since I was based in the Association’s Washington, D.C. office. At the time of the Allred press conference, we were in San Francisco, where I was giving a speech, following which we headed to Phoenix, Arizona the next day for another event.
We decided to hold a press conference in Phoenix where I could address the charges directly to the media. At that event, I unequivocally denied the charges by Allred’s client, which was appropriate because they were absolute fabrications. We wanted to address the false accusations quickly and directly so they would not become an ongoing distraction from my campaign and the important issues we were discussing with the American voters.
But less than one week later, the week of November 28, 2011, an individual named Ginger White emerged and claimed that I had had a 13-year affair with her. This false accusation fanned the media flames and led to an even larger media firestorm. But again, the simple truth is that there was no affair. I acknowledged that I had known Ms. White for about that period of time, and had helped her from time to time with some ongoing personal financial problems she had been experiencing.
Her “proof” of the affair – beyond her own words – consisted of some of my published books that I had signed for her, and some text messages and phone calls exchanged. I have published five books and have signed thousands of them, and there was nothing unusual about how I signed the books she had in her possession. But some media stories showed the signed copies as if they were evidence of wrongdoing. Innocent acts were being transformed into something else to support mistruths.
The text messages over the limited period of time she referenced, based on obtaining my actual telephone records, show a pattern of contacts by Ms. White to me 2.5 times for each response to her. The exchanges were usually around the end and middle of a month when she was asking for help with another money crisis such as being unable to pay her rent or buy food for herself and her two children during times when she was unemployed.
I was soft-hearted, and admittedly naive, for continuing to help her, as her situation seemed to never get on a stable financial track. She asked me for advice on several business ideas she was considering, and I gave her my opinion, as I have done hundreds of times with many people.
As my presidential campaign consumed more and more of my time and my resources, I finally told her that I could no longer help her. This was about a week before she went public claiming a 13-year affair.
While she was all over the media enjoying her “fifteen minutes of fame” (see attached timeline), she was being sued by a former business partner for libel – in lay terms, for making false statements. She did not show up for the court appearance and the court subsequently ruled in favor of her former business partner. All of this is a matter of public record.
What follows is a timeline of how things unfolded as this story became almost the exclusive focus of the media. The constant recycling, repeating and repackaging of the same unsupported accusations over and over caused some people to lose confidence in me and my campaign. But more importantly, what my family had to endure was too painful for me to ignore. As a result, I ended my campaign for the presidency.
Here is the timeline:
Timeline at link: http://www.caintv.com/truth-wins-the-facts-that-dest