Herman Cain said on Saturday he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination for the US presidency, citing the pain caused to his family of allegations sexual misconduct.

"I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family," he told supporters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Cain said the charges hurled at him over the weeks are "false and unproved" but said they have taken a toll on him and his wife, Gloria, who appeared with him on stage.

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