Alexandra Tara Reade discusses her sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden
In April 2019, after Alexandra Tara Reade alleged Joe Biden touched her inappropriately while working in his U.S. Senate office in the early 1990s, someone called her in the middle of the night.
The person told her they’d come to her house and kill her, Reade said.
“They called me a traitor and they called me all that,” she added.
A Nevada County resident, Reade was one of several women in early 2019 saying that Biden touched her. He’d put his hand on her shoulder and run his finger up her neck. A suggestion by Biden that she serve drinks at an event because he liked her legs, and her decision against it, sidelined her career, Reade said.
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She was one of eight women last year who publicly accused Biden of touching them and making them feel uncomfortable, the New York Times reported.
However, Reade’s placement on the national stage shifted quickly when in March she said she’d omitted a key element of her story — that Biden cornered her, put his hand under her clothes and penetrated her.
Reade hasn’t spoken to the other women who made the accusations of inappropriate touching last year. She said they experienced Biden in a different way than she did.
“Just that objectification,” Reade said. “Not so much objectification, just there for his pleasure. Period. But it’s sexual assault. What he did to me was a sexual assault.”
Reade’s accusation has sent shock waves through the political landscape. Biden, the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic Party, has denied the allegation.
“So I want to address allegations by a former staffer that I engaged in misconduct 27 years ago,” Biden said in a May 1 statement. “They aren’t true. This never happened.”
Over two interviews and a handful of emails with The Union, Reade said she told a friend and her brother about the incident. Her friend, granted anonymity by The Union, at first provided no specifics about the incident. She later said Reade hadn’t yet given her permission to speak about it, and then corroborated the details she said Reade told her in spring 1993.
Reade’s brother said he’d need to speak to his sister before deciding whether to comment. He couldn’t be reached for further comment.
The New York Times, among other publications like Business Insider, has contacted other people it reports corroborate key portions of Reade’s allegation. However, the Times also spoke to former coworkers of Reade’s in Biden’s office who had no recollection of any incident.
Last week Reade began referring further comment to New York attorney Doug Wigdor. A representative of Wigdor said Monday that Reade is not taking interviews at this time.
Reade worked in Biden’s Senate office from December 1992 to August 1993. She said that one day, in April or May 1993, she was handed a gym bag and told to deliver it to Biden.
Reade said the bag was heavy and she was in high heels. She left the office, walked through the Russell Senate Office Building and met Biden in a hallway, or alcove, of an adjacent building.
“I handed it to him, and then he had both hands on me,” Reade said. “There was no one there, but someone could have easily walked up.”
According to Reade, Biden put his hand under her blouse and over her bra. He pressed against her, trying to kiss her while simultaneously talking. He said something about going somewhere else.
“He put his hand in my private areas,” Reade said. “Over my legs and in between my legs and up.”
Reade said she pushed him away. He stopped and smiled, but she could tell he was angry.
“He said, ‘Come on, man. I heard you liked me,’” Reade said, adding moments later: “I remember the smell of dry cleaning, which is random.”
Biden then told her she was OK. The encounter ended. Reade said she must have gone to the bathroom, though she doesn’t recall. Later, she was on the steps of the Russell Building, thinking her career could end over the incident.
About a month or two later Reade was moved to an office without windows. In August 1993 she left Biden’s office, Reade has said.
Some of Reade’s online detractors have questioned why she chose this moment, when Biden appears poised to take the Democratic nomination for president, to make her disclosure.
Reade said that in 1993 she told her mother, who wanted her to contact the police. Reade questioned why she should contact the Capitol police when the accused was a senator. She also told a friend and her brother.
“I should have made the police report in 1993,” Reade said.
Reade told Business Insider that she filed a complaint with the Human Resources Office of the Senate, but didn’t mention sexual assault.
Biden has “encouraged” a search of the National Archives for the complaint, but declined opening documents of his held at the University of Delaware. He said the university papers wouldn’t have personnel documents, Politico has reported.
Reade said her mother called “Larry King Live” around that time about the issue, though no names were given.
CNN reported a woman called the show in an episode that aired Aug. 11, 1993 — the month Reade left Biden’s office. In that show the woman said her daughter worked for a prominent senator, and couldn’t seek relief from her problems, other than going to the press. The person didn’t, however, out of respect for the senator.
No mention of sexual assault was made.
Reade told CNN she’s certain the voice she heard in the newly surfaced recording is her mother.
Reade said she didn’t discuss the allegation when in 2008 Biden ran as Barack Obama’s running mate for vice president because her daughter was in middle school. She didn’t want to subject her daughter to any fallout.
Last year, after discussing the inappropriate touching, Reade said she was called a Russian agent and was smeared online.
“I’ve tried to come forward,” Reade said. “Every time I tried, I’ve lost work. I lost my career.”
Reade has gone from one woman among several publicly discussing Biden’s inappropriate touching to the center of a political storm. National media are covering different aspects of the story almost daily.
“Some people are supportive and believe me, and some people don’t,” Reade said.
Reade said on April 14 that much has been left out of the stories. At the time Biden hadn’t yet responded to her allegations. Reade said she wants a full investigation, and last month filed a police report with the Metropolitan Police Department.
“Subject-1 disclosed that she was the victim of a sexual assault which was committed by Subject-2 in 1993,” the report states.
Reade said she is the first subject, and Biden is the second.
The allegation is outside the statute of limitations, Reade said.
She said she filed the police report because of the late night April 2019 threat she received. Reade said she also grew concerned after a statement last month by Biden’s campaign called for the media to review her claims. The online comments against her grew significantly afterward.
Reade said it should be law enforcement that investigates.
“I’m serious about what happened,” Reade said. “It happened.”
Reade said she wants the larger discussion to focus on Biden and the abuse of power. She said various media has contacted her, as well as President Donald Trump’s communications team, but she doesn’t want her situation to become a means to further an agenda.
“I’m not interested in helping Trump become president again,” Reade said, adding later: “I want a platform that’s more neutral.”
Former Fox News anchor and NBC News talk show host Megyn Kelly on Thursday tweeted segments of an interview she had with Reade. The full interview was released Friday on YouTube. In the interview Reade calls for Biden to drop out of the presidential race.
“I’m not Green Party,” Reade said to The Union. “I’m not anything.
“The good thing that’s come out of it is my daughter’s proud of me now,” she said.
“I feel like the conversation will advance,” she added. “We’ll get there.”
To contact City Editor Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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