Lucy Flores a former Democrat candidate in Nevada has accused former Vice President Joe Biden of inappropriate conduct during a 2014 campaign event.
Flores wrote about the encounter in a piece for New York Magazine’s The Cut, published on Friday.
The former Democrat candidate says the incident happened at a campaign rally in early November of 2014 when she was campaigning to become the state’s lieutenant governor. Joe Biden appeared at the event to help round up support for Democrats in Nevada, she wrote.
The piece includes a photo of Biden and Flores, along with actress Eva Longoria, before the encounter
Flores says she was waiting in line to go on stage when Joe Biden appeared behind her, grabbed her by the shoulders sniffed her hair then kissed her on the back of the head.
“Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?” she recalled.
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified,” Flores wrote, adding that she wondered why the then-vice president had come that close to her.
“He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
Flores continued: “I couldn’t move, and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me.”
She said the incident left her motionless and triggered a variety of emotions.
“The vice-president of the United States of America had just touched me in an intimate way reserved for close friends, family, or romantic partners,” Flores wrote, adding that she “felt powerless to do anything about it.”
In her essay, Flores said she had “never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before,” adding that Biden “made me feel uneasy, gross, and confused,” as well as “powerless.”
“Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” she wrote. “I wasn’t attending the rally as his mentee or even his friend; I was there as the most qualified person for the job.”
Flores said she told some of her team afterward, but she wrote in the article that she had no intention of bringing it up further. But ultimately decided to speak up, considering that a potential 2020 White House run from Biden was rumored to be imminent.
“Is it enough of a transgression if a man touches and kisses you without consent, but doesn’t rise to the level of what most people consider sexual assault?” she wrote. “I did what most women do, and moved on with my life and my work.”
In a statement to Fox News, Biden spokesman Bill Russo said the former vice president “was pleased to support” Flores’s 2014 campaign “and to speak on her behalf” at the rally.
“Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes,” the statement said. “But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so. He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best.”
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