A Personal Affair Sortof: Sued, Bankrupted and Jobless Female Claims 13 Year Affair with Herman Cain
November 28th, 2011
By DALE RUSSELL/FOX 5 I-Team
ATLANTA, Ga. - An Atlanta businesswoman is breaking her silence, claiming she has been involved in a 13-year-long affair with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, FOX 5 senior I-Team reporter Dale Russell sat down with Ginger White, who had a story to tell.
“I'm not proud,” White told Russell. “I didn't want to come out with this. I did not.”
White was worried a political tsunami was headed her way. So, she decided to head it off, by confessing she was involved in a 13-year-long affair with presidential hopeful Herman Cain.
“It was pretty simple,” White said. “It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”
Ginger White says she met Herman Cain in the late 90s in Louisville, Kentucky, when as president of the National Restaurant Association, he made a presentation. She was impressed. She says they shared drinks afterwards and he invited her back to his hotel room.
“’I'd like to see you again,’” White said Cain told her. “’You are beautiful to me, and I would love for us to continue this friendship.’”
She says in his hotel room, he pulled out a calendar and invited her to meet him in Palm Springs. She accepted, and she says the affair began.
“He made it very intriguing,” White told FOX 5. “It was fun. It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time. And it was exciting.”
She says he gave her his newly-published book, Leadership is Common Sense, and he wrote: “Miss G, you have already made a 'big difference!’ Stay focused as you pursue your next destination."
She says during the next 13 years, he would fly her to cities where he was speaking and he lavished her with gifts. She says they often stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Buckhead and dined at The Four Seasons restaurant. She says he never harassed her, never treated her poorly, and was the same man you see on the campaign trail.
“Very much the same, very much confident, very much sure of himself,” White said, describing Cain. “Very arrogant in a playful sometimes way. Very, ah -- Herman Cain loves Herman Cain.”
When his new book, CEO of SELF, came out in 2001, she says Cain once again autographed it for her writing, "'Friends are forever! Everything else is a bonus.'"
When asked if it was fair to say the relationship is going on even now, White said, “I think it is safe to say that after this interview, that will be the end of it. Yes, we have a friendship now.”
She says the physical relationship ended about eight months ago, right before Cain announced he was running for president. But the communication did not. When we asked for any corroborating evidence, she pointed us to her cell phone contacts. One name: Herman Cain.
She showed us some of her cell phone bills that included 61 phone calls or text messages to or from a number starting with 678. She says it is Herman Cain's private cell phone. The calls were made during four different months-- calls or texts made as early as 4:26 in the early morning, and as late as 7:52 at night. The latest were in September of this year.
“We've never worked together,” said White. “And I can't imagine someone phoning or texting me for the last two and a half years, just because.”
We texted the number and Herman Cain called us back. He told us he "knew Ginger White" but said these are "more false allegations." He said she had his number because he was "trying to help her financially.”
She says she planned on keeping the relationship a secret while Cain made his run for the White House until she and her family watched reports of different women who had accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment. She says she was not surprised by the allegations, but was bothered by the way Cain fought back, attacking the woman, including during an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.
“It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of, they were treated as if they were automatically lying, and the burden of proof was on them,” White said. “I felt bad for them.”
We received a phone tip from someone who knew Ginger White. That person claimed Ms. White was having an affair with Herman Cain. The tipster also called a number of other national media outlets who reached out to her. White told FOX 5, she felt trapped.
“I wanted to give my side, before it was thrown out there and made out to be something filthy,” said White. “Some people will look at this and say that is exactly what it is. I'm sorry for that.”
And so she talked. Before our interview, we checked into Ginger White's background. We found she filed a sexual harassment claim against an employer in 2001. That case was settled.
We also found a bankruptcy filing nearly 23 years ago in Kentucky, and a number of eviction notices here in DeKalb County over the past six years. The most recent happened this month.
Ms. White says she has been unemployed, and she is a single mom with two kids struggling to make ends meet.
think that makes me out to be a bad person,” White said. “It makes me out to be one of the millions of people right now trying to keep a roof over their head.”
We also found a lawsuit filed by a former business partner, Kimberly Vay, who once sought a "stalking temporary protective order" against Ms. White for "repeated e-mails/texts threatening lawsuit and defamation of character." The case was dismissed; but was followed by a libel lawsuit against Ms. White. A judge entered an order in favor of Kimberly Vay because Ms. White failed to respond to the lawsuit.
When asked why, under those circumstances, her claims against Cain should be believed, White said, “Because I admit it. Whatever happened with Kim happened. Just as there would make no sense for me to come out with these allegations against Herman if it absolutely wasn't true.”
Her attorney, Ed Buckley, says she didn't answer the lawsuit because she didn't know about it, and she thought her business dispute had been settled with negotiations.
Ginger White says she expects to be scrutinized and attacked by Herman Cain and the media, but she felt she needed to tell her story before anyone else told it for her.
“I didn't want to do this, but it was something I felt at the end of the day was the right thing to do,” said White. “Is it going to hurt a lot people? Yes. I'm sure I will be one of them.”
Late this afternoon, Cain’s attorney, Lin Wood, sent FOX 5 the following statement:
"Mr. Cain has been informed today that your television station plans to broadcast a story this evening in which a female will make an accusation that she engaged in a 13-year long physical relationship with Mr. Cain. This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault - which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.
Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults - a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public's right to know and the media's right to report has boundaries and most certainly those boundaries end outside of one's bedroom door.
Mr. Cain has alerted his wife to this new accusation and discussed it with her. He has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media."