Dr. Victor Zuckerman, the former boyfriend of Sharon Bialek

*Victor Zuckerman, a pediatrician, said on Monday that he was dating Sharon Bialek in the 1990s when she told him that Herman Cain had touched her inappropriately, reports the New York Times.

Dr. Zuckerman held a news conference Monday with Gloria Allred, the lawyer who represents Bialek, in an attempt to buttress her sexual harassment allegations against the Republican presidential candidate last week.

“She was upset,” Dr. Zuckerman recalled of the conversation he had with Bialek after a meeting with Cain in Washington. “She said that something had happened and that Mr. Cain had touched her in an inappropriate manner. She said that she had handled it and didn’t want to talk about it anymore.”

Dr. Zuckerman also took issue with Cain’s statement last week that he didn’t “know who this woman is.” Dr. Zuckerman said that he witnessed conversations between Cain and Bialek at a conference in the 1990s before the alleged incident took place.

“He had told me about his new gospel album,” Dr. Zuckerman said, recalling his conversations with Cain and Bialek at a party after the conference. “I remember how impressed I was.”

Bialek charged last week that Mr. Cain had put his hand under her skirt and tried to pull her head toward his crotch after a dinner during which she sought his help in getting a job. When she made the allegation last week, she described telling her boyfriend at the time, but did not disclose his name.

Dr. Zuckerman said he decided to come forward after hearing Cain’s response to Bialek’s news conference.

“Like many women in the workplace, she quietly endured what she felt was a sexual assault,” Dr. Zuckerman said. “However, now Mr. Cain is running for the most powerful position in the world.”

Dr. Zuckerman said he anticipated efforts to undermine his credibility, and he acknowledged that he had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy because of competitive pressures and the downturn in the economy. But he insisted that he had never committed a crime, faced no malpractice lawsuits or disciplinary actions and was a board-certified physician in Bloomingdale, Ill.

Lin Wood, an attorney for Cain, dismissed Dr. Zuckerman’s statements, saying the doctor has little credibility and suggesting that a quick Internet search would prove it. He pointed to an anti-aging Web site that appears to list Dr. Zuckerman’s favorite book as The National Enquirer.

“This story doesn’t merit much. It’s just a publicity stunt,” Wood said, adding that Allred has “conducted a scripted, one-sided trial” without giving Cain the chance to question anyone.