Former Vice President and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been accused of sexual misconduct and inappropriate touching by at least eight women, most recently by Alexandra Tara Reade, a former aide in Biden’s Senate office in the early 1990s, who claims Biden sexually assaulted her — a claim now substantiated by several contemporaneous accounts.
Reade publicly claimed last month that Biden sexually assaulted her back in 1993 when she worked as an aide in his Senate office. Reade also says that she was fired when she considered going to authorities to report the then-senator’s behavior.
“I handed [Biden] the [gym bag]. He greeted me. He remembered my name. And then we were alone,” Reade outlined her allegation against Biden on a progressive podcast that aired last week. “It was the strangest thing. There was no like exchange really. He just had me up against the wall. I was wearing like a skirt, a business skirt. I wasn’t wearing stockings. It was kind of a hot day that day, and I was wearing heels…I remember I was wearing a blouse, and he just had me up against the wall. And the wall was cold. It happened all at once…his hands were on me and underneath my clothes. Yeah, and he went down my skirt but then up inside it, and he penetrated me with his fingers, and he was kissing me at the same time, and he was saying something to me. He said several things. I can’t remember everything he said.”
“It seemed surreal,” she added. “I felt sick because when he pulled back he looked annoyed, and he said something else to me that I don’t want to say. And then he said, I must have looked shocked. He grabbed me by the shoulders… and he said, ‘You’re OK, you’re fine.’ And then he walked away.”
Reade has since alleged corroboration to her accusation, citing a woman she says is her mother calling into “Larry King Live” and vaguely detailing an issue her daughter was having with a then-senator. Two others have come forward to corroborate elements of Reade’s allegations, too, according to a report from Business Insider.
“Reade’s former neighbor Lynda LaCasse, a Biden supporter, tells Insider that Reade told her about the alleged assault in detail in 1995 or 1996: ‘This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it,'” the report outlined, adding: “A former colleague of Reade’s also told Insider that Reade talked in the mid-1990s of being sexually harassed by her former boss in Washington, DC.”
Aside from Reade, there are at least seven other women who’ve accused Biden of sexual misconduct or inappropriate touching, as outlined by The Cut.
Last year, former Nevada lieutenant governor nominee Lucy Flores alleged that Biden “smelled her hair and gave her ‘a big slow kiss’ on the back of her head at an event for her 2014 campaign. In that moment, she wrote, she felt ’embarrassed’ and ‘shocked,'” The Cut reported.
“I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me,” said Flores.
A former congressional aide for U.S. representative Jim Himes in 2009, Amy Lappos, has alleged “Biden touched and rubbed his nose against hers during a political fund-raiser,” The Cut said.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” claimed Lappos. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.”
“He was the vice president,” she said of choosing to forgo filing a complaint. “I was a nobody.”
“D.J. Hill was one of two women to come forward with allegations in The New York Times, which referred to Biden’s conduct as ‘tactile politics’ in a report published on April 2,” The Cut reported. “At a 2012 at a fundraising event in Minneapolis, Hill alleges that Biden rested his hand on her shoulder, and then started to move it down her back, which left her feeling ‘very uncomfortable.'”
“Only he knows his intent,” said Hill, adding, “If something makes you feel uncomfortable, you have to feel able to say it.”
Caitlyn Caruso told the New York Times Biden hugged her “just a little bit too long” and laid his hand on her thigh after she shared a story of alleged sexual assault.
“It doesn’t even really cross your mind that such a person would dare perpetuate harm like that,” Caruso said. “These are supposed to be people you can trust.”
“On April 3, Ally Coll told The Washington Post that at a 2008 reception, Biden squeezed her shoulders, complimented her smile, and held her ‘for a beat too long,'” The Cut detailed. “A young Democratic staffer at the time, Coll said her initial reaction was to shrug it off. But she told the Post she now feels the alleged incident was inappropriate, adding, ‘There’s been a lack of understanding about the way that power can turn something that might seem innocuous into something that can make somebody feel uncomfortable.'”
Sexual assault survivor Sofie Karasek says Biden violated her personal space in 2016 when he held her hands and touched his forehead to hers at the Oscars, a moment captured by photographers and praised in the media.
“He emphasized that he wants to connect with people and, of course, that’s important,” Karasek told The Washington Post of Biden’s video discussing his tendency to violate women’s space. “But again, all of our interactions and friendships are a two-way street … Too often it doesn’t matter how the woman feels about it or they just assume that they’re fine with it.”
“Vail Kohnert-Yount alleged that when she was a White House intern in the spring of 2013, Biden ‘put his hand on the back of [her] head and pressed his forehead to [her] forehead’ when he introduced himself, and that he called her a ‘pretty girl,'” The Cut reported. “She was ‘so shocked,’ she said, ‘that it was hard to focus on what he was saying.’ Though she told the Post that she doesn’t believe Biden’s conduct constituted sexual misconduct, she described it as ‘the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace.'”
H/t The Cut
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