WASHINGTON — In an explosive allegation, a Georgia woman said Monday she and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair that lasted nearly until the former businessman announced his candidacy for the White House several months ago.

“Here we go again. I didn’t do anything wrong,” Cain said in a pre-emptive denial that lumped a detailed claim of a consensual affair in with earlier allegations of sexual harassment.

But the woman, Ginger White, told Fox 5 Atlanta that over the years, Cain bought her airplane tickets so she could join him in cities as far-flung as Palm Springs, Calif., and Atlanta.

“It was fun,” said White, 46. “It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time. And it was exciting.”

Although Cain flatly denied the affair, his lawyer issued a statement that included no such denial and suggested that the media – and the public – had no business snooping into consensual conduct between adults.

After Cain’s denial, White told The Associated Press that Cain was not being truthful when he said there had been no affair.

“That would be false,” White said. “What I said in the interview was true.”

Cain’s candidacy was soaring in the polls until he was hit less than a month ago with accusations that he sexually harassed several women and groped one while he was a high-ranking official at the National Restaurant Association.

He has since fallen back in the public opinion surveys.

In its report, Fox 5 Atlanta said White had Cain’s name in her cellphone contacts, and when its reporter sent a text message to the number, he called right back. “He told us he knew ‘Ginger White’ but said he was trying to help her financially,” the station said.

Later, Cain avoided reporters’ questions at a fundraiser in the Washington, D.C., area.

In his initial denial, televised on CNN, Cain vowed to remain in the presidential race, as long as he has the support of his wife.

In her interview, White said she decided to come forward after seeing Cain attack his other accusers.

Georgia court records show a series of judgments against White for not paying rent in Atlanta area apartments, including one filed about two weeks ago.

White said she first met Cain in the late 1990s in Louisville, Ky., when he was president of the National Restaurant Association. They had drinks and he invited her to his hotel room, she said.