With his wife Gloria by his side, Herman Cain, the Black Republican presidential candidate who was accused of having a 13-year extramarital affair, announced that he will drop out of the race while fiercely denying the allegations against him.

“With a lot of prayer and soul searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign, because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt on me and my family, not because we’re not fighters,” Cain said.

“I am at peace with my God,” Cain said. “I am at peace with my wife and she is at peace with me.”

Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, has been dogged for weeks by allegations of sexual harassment and a sexual affair.

Cain ultimately decided to suspend his campaign for president after Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White appeared on television to detail her 13-year affair with Cain. She said the relationship began after they met at a business meeting. Cain acknowledged a friendship with White and said he had been helping her financially, but insisted it was not sexual.

“These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in the media and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family,” Cain insisted.

Cain has acknowledged that White’s allegations have led to a drop in campaign contributions, and a Des Moines Register poll shows his support among likely Republican Iowa voters has fallen to 8 percent, down from 23 percent in October. Cain told reporters that he repeatedly gave White money to help her with “month-to-month bills and expenses.”

“I send checks to a lot of people; I help a lot of people,” Cain told Fox News. “That in itself is not proof. So the other allegation in terms of it being a 13-year physical relationship, that is her words against my word.”

In her interview with MSNBC, White said of her relationship with Cain, “It wasn’t a love affair, it was a sexual affair.”

“I am not a cold-hearted person,” White said. “I am a mother of two kids and, of course, my heart bleeds for this woman because I am a woman and being in a situation like this cannot be fun. And I am deeply, deeply sorry if I have caused any hurt to her and to his kids, to his family. That was not my intention. I never wanted to hurt anyone, and I am deeply sorry.”

Two other women—Sharon Bialek and Karen Kraushaar—previously accused Cain of sexually harassing them in the 1990s while he was head of the National Restaurant Association. Two more women also have said Cain sexually harassed them while they worked at the association, but have declined to be identified.

At his rally in Atlanta, Cain admitted, “I have made many mistakes in life, everybody has.”

But he also told supporters that he believed he was the right man for the White House.

“I grew up in a world of segregated water fountains,” he said. “My father was a chauffeur and my mother was a maid. We showed that you didn’t have to have a degree from Harvard in order to run for president. We showed that you didn’t have to have a political pedigree…I am proof that a common man could lead this nation.”

He left the crowd with a defiant vow: “I am not going to be silenced,” Cain said, “and I am not going away.”