Second Woman Says Joe Biden Touched Her Inappropriately
|thenorthstar||Apr 3, 2019|
A Connecticut woman said former Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately while she was volunteering at a 2009 political fundraiser in the city of Greenwich, fueling more scrutiny over Biden’s unwanted contact with female colleagues during his tenure.
“It wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Amy Lappos told The Hartford Courant. “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.” Lappos, 43, told the publication she felt extremely uncomfortable when Biden got closer at the fundraiser for Connecticut Representative Jim Himes, with whom she worked as a congressional aide.
“I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody,” Lappos added. “There's absolutely a line of decency. There's a line of respect. Crossing that line is not grandfatherly. It's not cultural. It's not affection. It's sexism or misogyny.”
Lappos came forward days after former Nevada legislator Lucy Flores wrote a piece for The Cut last week, detailing how Biden kissed her on the back of her head during a 2014 campaign, adding that she felt “embarrassed and unsettled.” Her testimony also dredged up his role during the Anita Hill hearings in the early 1990s, when he spearheaded the Senate Judiciary Committee. Recently, Biden said that he regretted the way he treated Hill when she was offering an account of then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’ history of sexual harassment.
The Courant reached out to Biden’s office, but his spokesperson offered the same statement when Flores’ story came to light. “In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted
inappropriately,” Biden said. “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention. I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.” Lappos said that Democrats cannot “condone” Biden’s behavior and accept him as the top contender for the White House, while at the same time condemning President Donald Trump for his sexist demeanor. Nevertheless, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Politico on Tuesday that Biden’s actions do not disqualify him as a candidate, but that he “has to understand in the world that we're in now that people's space is important to them, and what's important is how they receive it and not necessarily how you intended it.”
About the Author
Robert Valencia is the breaking news editor for The North Star. His work as editor and reporter appeared on Newsweek, World Politics Review, Mic.com, Public Radio International and The Miami Herald, among other outlets. He’s a frequent commentator on foreign affairs and US politics on Al Jazeera English, CNN en Español, Univision, Telemundo, Voice of America, C-SPAN, Sirius XM and other media outlets across Latin America and the Caribbean.