Two women told Business Insider that former Joe Biden Senate aide Tara Reade told them about her sexual assault allegation against the former vice president in the 90s.
Reade told The New York Times and multiple other news outlets that Biden pushed her up against the wall and penetrated her with his fingers during an encounter in 1993.
Two of Reade’s friends and her brother told The Times that she told them about the alleged assault at the time.
Several former Senate colleagues recalled that Reade was abruptly let go in 1993 but did not recall any allegations.
The Biden campaign denies the allegation.
"Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims," Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s communications director, said in a statement earlier this month. "We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false."
Ex-neighbor says Reade told her:
Lynda LaCasse told Business Insider she lived next door to Reade in the 90s.
"This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it," LaCasse said. "I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him. And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn't feel there was anything she could do."
"She was crying," she said. "She was upset. And the more she talked about it, the more she started crying. I remember saying that she needed to file a police report."
LaCasse said she is a Biden supporter but felt the need to come forward to support her friend.
"I have to support her just because that's what happened. We need to stand up and tell the truth… She didn't ask me to. I volunteered to do that just recently. If this was me, I would want somebody to stand up for me. It takes a lot of guts to do what she's doing,” she said. "I personally am a Democrat, a very strong Democrat. And I'm for Biden, regardless. But still I have to come out and say this."
Ex-colleague backs up claim:
Lorraine Sanchez, who worked with Reade for a state senator in California in the 90s, told the outlet that Reade told her at the time that a former boss in Washington sexually harassed her before she was fired.
"[Reade said] she had been sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in DC," Sanchez said. "and as a result of her voicing her concerns to her supervisors, she was let go, fired."
But Sanchez could not remember whether Reade mentioned Biden or described the alleged assault.
"What I do remember," Sanchez said, "is reassuring her that nothing like that would ever happen to her here in our office, that she was in a safe place, free from any sexual harassment."