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Cain denies sex allegations, says 'in it to win it'

world Updated: Nov 08, 2011 11:55 IST

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US Republican candidate Herman Cain denied fresh allegations of sexual harassment early on Tuesday and insisted his White House campaign would continue, saying: "I'm in it to win it."

Speaking on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," a late night comedy show, Cain said he would hold a press conference about the latest allegations -- by a woman who publicly claimed he groped her in 1997 -- later on Tuesday.

"There's not an ounce of truth in all of these accusations... and that's why I'm willing to do a press conference tomorrow (Tuesday) to set the record straight," a visibly upbeat and smiling Cain said.

"I'm in it to win it, and I'm not going to be discouraged," he added, to thunderous applause during the light-hearted interview.

"The voice of the people is stronger than the voice of the media and the people are going to elect the nominee and the next president of the United States. They are not going to be easily swayed by just what the media hype is."

The campaign of the political outsider had been thrown into doubt in recent days over a string of reported accusations of sexual misconduct during the 1990s, when the ex-pizza company CEO was chairman of a restaurant association.

On Monday, one of the women, Sharon Bialek, went public, speaking in detail about how Cain put his hand up her skirt and grabbed her in a sexually suggestive way in a car after taking her out to dinner in Washington in 1997.

Bialek, standing with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, said the alleged harassment took place when she had sought Cain's assistance after losing her job in the National Restaurant Association, which he headed.

The new accusation could end Cain's surprise success in the race, where he is vying with the more establishment candidate Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, for the nomination to take on President Barack Obama.

However, the latest polls showed Cain tied or just ahead of Romney, who most analysts have predicted will ultimately become the Republican candidate. One ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Cain behind by a single percentage point.