(Meredith) – Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing a sexual assault allegation from a former staffer.
Tara Reade, who was Biden’s staff assistant from 1992 to 1993, says that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993.
Biden’s campaign has denied the claim in statements. Biden has not spoke directly on the issue.
Reade was one of several women to accuse Biden of inappropriate behavior last spring following Lucy Flores’ essay in “The Cut.” Flores, a Nevada politician, alleged that Biden had inappropriately sniffed her hair and kissed the back of her head as she waited to go on stage at a 2014 rally.
Reade came forward in support of Flores last spring and described to a local reporter several instances in which she said Biden behaved similarly toward her. She said she received criticism after coming forward in the article, so she went quiet.
But in an interview with podcast host Katie Halper on March 26, 2020, Reade revealed more to her own story. Reade said Biden sexually assaulted her when she worked for him in 1993 by penetrating her with his fingers and then telling her, “C’mon, man. I heard you liked me.” You can listen to Reade’s full interview here.
At the time of the assault, Reade said she told her mother, brother, and a friend about the alleged assault. Her mother has since passed away, but both her friend and brother confirmed to The Intercept they remember Reade telling them about the incident at the time.
In her podcast interview, Reade said that before the incident, she looked up to Biden.
“He was my father’s age. He was this champion of women’s rights in my eyes,” Reade said. “And I couldn’t believe [the assault] was happening. It seemed surreal.”
Reade told The Intercept that Time’s Up would not help her pursue legal action against Biden because he is a candidate for federal office and assisting a case against him could jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status.
The public relations firm that works for the Time’s Up legal defense fund is SKDKnickerbocker. The firm’s managing director, Anita Dunn, is the top adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign.
“Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false,” Bedingfield’s statements read.