By Bella Cuomo ’21
Tara Reade has caused controversy during the race for the 2020 presidential election with her allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against Former Vice President and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Reade’s allegations have been publicly denied by Vice President Biden: “No, it is not true,” he said in response to a question of Reade’s reliability.
Reade first publicly discussed Vice President Biden’s sexual misconduct in April 2019. She claimed, “[Biden] put his hand on my shoulder and ran his finger up my neck.” Her ex-husband, Ted Dronen, remembered Reade “related a problem she was having at work regarding sexual harassment in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office,” in a 1996 court record. The same record shows Dronen explaining, “it was obvious that this event had a very traumatic effect on [Reade], and that she is still sensitive and affected by it today.” However, she reportedly never disclosed the perpetrator’s name to Dronen.
Born in Wisconsin, Reade moved to California at age seventeen, where she briefly changed her name to “Alexandra McCabe.” She worked as an actress and model until moving to Washington, D.C in the 1990s, where she met Dromen. Reade accused Dronen of domestic abuse on multiple accounts. Despite admitting to one instance, Dronen did not confirm the totality of Reade’s accusations.
Reade’s work as a Senate aide began in December 1992. Her termination in August 1993 was originally blamed on a “health issue.” A woman close to Reade in the office and dormitories, Stacey Lentz, discussed her knowledge of Reade’s work life in the Senate office. Lentz “did not recall Reade confiding in her about sexual harassment or assault.” In her first public allegations against Vice President Biden, Reade claimed she never confided in anyone regarding her alleged sexual relationship with Biden. Another former colleague of Reade, Ben Savage, claimed Reade “blamed her termination on her health issue—that she thought she was being discriminated against for her health issue.” This “health issue” has yet to be disclosed. Reade’s attorney, Doug Wigdor, responded to Savage’s interview: “Yes, she was being sexually harassed and retaliated against and ultimately sexually assaulted...She did miss days of work because of all of this.” Reade now claims her termination came conveniently after reporting sexual misconduct from Vice President Biden to the Senate office.
In March 2020, Reade spoke publicly about her allegations against Vice President Biden, specifically sexual assault. She claims Biden penetrated her with his fingers, without her consent, in a Capitol Hill office building’s basement.
In an exclusive with Morning Joe, Biden said, “I don’t know why she’s saying this, I don’t know why after 27 years all of a sudden this gets raised, I don't understand it… She has a right to say whatever she wants to say, but I have a right to say, look at the facts… You have to look at the circumstances and the facts, and the facts in this case do not exist. They never happened.” In a May 8 interview with Megyn Kelly, Reade called upon Biden to terminate his campaign. Biden remains adamant that the allegations are untrue and that he will not end his candidacy.