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Tara Reade says she did not use term "sexual harassment" in complaint against Biden

Biden has denied Reade's allegation of sexual assault

Published: May 3, 2020 11:29am

Updated: May 3, 2020 1:44pm

Former Senate staffer Tara Reade says that she did not use the words "sexual harassment" in the complaint she filed about Joe Biden.

"I remember talking about him wanting me to serve drinks because he liked my legs and thought I was pretty and it made me uncomfortable,” Reade told the Associated Press on Friday. “I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.”

Reade said that she discussed sexual harassment and retaliation.

"The main word I used – and I know I didn’t use sexual harassment — I used ‘uncomfortable.,' " she said. "And I remember ‘retaliation.’ ”

Reade on Saturday told AP there might have been a box to check to indicate a complaint of sexual harassment, but said she did not remember and would not be certain unless she viewed the document.

"I filed a complaint re sexual harassment and retaliation but I am not sure what explicit words on that intake form until we all see it again," she told NBC News via text message on Saturday.

Reade recently accused Biden of penetrating her digitally in 1993. The former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee on Friday appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," and denied Reade's allegations.

During a 2019 interview with AP, Reade spoke of having "chickened out" at the Senate personnel office. "They have this counseling office or something, and I think I walked in there once, but then I chickened out," AP reported Reade said, according to an interview transcript.

Reade told the outlet that she was referring to "chickening out" with regard to lodging complete assault or harassment allegations against then-Senator Biden. 

The AP said that during the 2019 interview Reade spoke of the Senator touching her hair, neck and shoulders. Reade "said Biden rubbed her shoulders and neck and played with her hair," the outlet reported.  

"I wasn’t scared of him, that he was going to take me in a room or anything. It wasn’t that kind of vibe," she told the outlet in 2019.

Business Insider reported that Reade's former neighbor Lynda LaCasse, a Biden supporter, said that she remembers Reade telling her about the sexual assault in the mid-90's. A person Reade once worked with remembers Reade saying that she had been sexually harassed by her previous employer, though the person did not remember if Reade gave specifics about the kind of harassment, or if Reade had used Biden's name.

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