Now that Sen. Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, there’s only one person left to represent the Democratic Party in the general elections. In November, Joe Biden will go against Donald Trump in a pivotal election, and some people aren’t too thrilled by the options.
One person who definitely understands the mixed emotions is Biden’s sexual assault accuser Tara Reade. Last month, she accused Biden of full-on rape after her initial allegations of inappropriate behavior when she worked at his senate office in the early ’90s. During the 2020 presidential elections, Reade supported Elizabeth Warren at first, then Sanders. Now that he’s out, she made it clear that people can vote for who they want to, but she won’t stop speaking out against Biden.
“Many of you that supported different Dem candidates are struggling right now,” she wrote in a tweet along with a picture of her younger self. “I will still fight to have my history with Joe Biden known that he sexually harassed & assaulted me when I was his staffer in 1993. You all need to vote for who you wish. For me there is no democracy.”
Much of the mainstream media has been glaringly silent about Reade’s accusations. The Hill reported that “ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN haven’t said a single word” about Reade’s allegations according to the Media Research Center (MRC), a conservative organization that monitors what it views as liberal bias in the media. Meanwhile, a few media outlets, including The Economist, Salon, Medium, Democracy Now and NewsOne have covered the allegations.
Even big name celebrities tied to the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up, which uplifts the voices of sexual assault survivors, have remained rather quiet. Alyssa Milano especially caught some heat when she was quiet for a while and then she finally spoke up, but not in support of Reade.
“I’ve been very vocal about Biden and my support for him,” she said in a talk with Andy Cohen. “I’ve known him for a long time and I did do my due diligence.”
Milano went on to say that she read that Time’s Up decided not to take Reade’s case and that was the impetus for her not supporting Reade. “I did my work and I spoke to Time’s Up and I just don’t feel comfortable throwing away a decent man that I’ve known for 15 years in this time of complete chaos without there being a thorough investigation.”
Milano then went on to say that the “mainstream media would be jumping all over this” if there was more evidence.
Granted, the alleged incident between Biden and Reade happened nearly 30 years ago, and both Reade’s brother and her close friend claim Reade told them about the alleged assault.
Reade explained in an interview with podcaster Katie Halper that the alleged assault occurred in a “side area” down towards the Capital in Washington D.C. when Reade was working for then-Senator Joe Biden’s office.
“We were alone and it was the strangest thing,” she told Halper. “There was no like exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
In a graphic account, Reade then went on to say that Biden “went down my skirt but then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers.”
When discussing why she didn’t come forward sooner with the allegations, Reade cited a toxic work culture. She described other instances when Biden allegedly would run his fingers up her neck or wanted her to serve drinks because he liked her legs. When she would bring these alleged instances up to her supervisor, Reade said she was told things like “button up more” or “don’t look so sexy.”
“I felt like it was my fault like that I did [inaudible] to bring it on,” Reade told Halper.
Reade also said that she did bring her accusations to Time’s Up in January 2020, but ultimately, they didn’t take her case. However, it wasn’t because they didn’t believe her. According to The Intercept, Time’s Up, which is housed within the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), claims that if they took Reade’s case it could put their nonprofit status in jeopardy since she was accusing a candidate for federal office.
“As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the National Women’s Law Center is restricted in how it can spend its funds, including restrictions that pertain to candidates running for election,” explained NWLC spokesperson, Maria Patrick. “Our decision on whether or not to provide certain types of support to an individual should not be interpreted as our validation or doubt of the truthfulness of the person’s statements. Regardless, our support of workers who come forward regarding workplace sexual harassment remains unwavering.”
Reade explained this aspect in a series of tweets to Milano.
“My case was accepted by Times Up,” Reade tweeted on Wednesday along with the email portion she says she received from the organization, reading, “Please know how much I appreciate your courage in speaking out and appreciate what you shared over the phone, that you are speaking out so that your daughter and other young people can start their careers free of harassment.”
Reade continued, “Any attempt to say my case was not accepted in an effort to defame or smear me will not stand. I have 20 emails. Retract your defamatory statement immediately @Alyssa_Milano.“
Then, Reade thanked another actress associated with the #MeToo movement, Rose McGowan for supporting her.
“In those emails with Times Up I was reassured that they believed and accepted the veracity of my allegations re Joe Biden sexually harassing me and sexually assaulting me,” Reade tweeted. “@Alyssa_Milano never contacted me. Thank you @rosemcgowan fornyoir support.”
Time will tell if the sexual assault allegations will be brought up in the debates proceeding the general elections, considering Trump has also been accused of sexual harassment and assault. Neither candidate will most likely not bring up the subject, leaving it up to the public to ask the hard questions.
Biden and his camp have denied Reade’s accusations.