WASHINGTON – One of Herman Cain’s accusers alleged “several incidents of sexual harassment” in a formal complaint more than a decade ago, her attorney disclosed Friday — a fresh allegation that could complicate the Republican presidential hopeful’s determined bid to lay the politically explosive controversy to rest.

The lawyer, Joel Bennett, said his client — married then and now — accepted a financial settlement in leaving her job at the National Restaurant Association shortly after lodging the complaint against Cain, who was then the trade group’s head. Bennett did not name the woman, who he said had decided not “to relive the specifics” of the incidents in a public forum.

Cain, who tried to return to normal campaigning Friday, has repeatedly denied ever sexually harassing anyone. His spokesman, J.D. Gordon, said in response to Bennett’s comments, “”We’re looking to put this issue behind us and focus on the real issues, which are fixing this broken economy, putting Americans back to work and strengthening national security.”

Apart from disclosing that his client alleged more than one incident, Bennett’s remarks added little of substance to a controversy that erupted nearly a week ago.

“She made a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviors and unwanted advances from the CEO” of the restaurant organization, he said.

Dawn Sweeney, the trade group’s current CEO, said Cain disputed the allegations at the time they were made. Cain has contended an internal investigation of the complaint showed no evidence of improper conduct by him, but Sweeney did not address that issue.

Bennett’s comments to reporters outside his law office came as Cain was making a concerted effort to show he would no longer allow the controversy to dominate his unlikely challenge for the GOP presidential nomination.

The candidate drew cheers Friday from conservative activists as he delivered a speech focused on the U.S. economy. He is trying to convert his rise in opinion polls into a campaign organization robust enough to compete with Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and other rivals in early primary and caucus states.

In an appearance before the Americans For Prosperity Foundation, the career businessman pitched his trademark 9-9-9 economic program and referred only elliptically to the controversy that has overshadowed his campaign in recent days. “I’ve been in Washington all week, and I’ve attracted a little bit of attention,” he said to knowing laughter from his audience.

So far, Cain does not seem to be losing support from his followers.

“If there’s truth to it, then it could hurt him. But right now, it’s just allegations,” said Cyrus Hill, a 67-year-old retiree from Granger, Iowa. “Allegations aren’t going to end him.”