A second woman has accused former vice president Joe Biden of touching her inappropriately.
According to the Hartford Courant, Amy Lappos said Biden forced her face close to his in order to rub noses at a 2009 political fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told the outlet. “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.”
The initial post–made under the pseudonym Alice Paul–reads:
Biden did something similar to me at a fundraiser in Greenwich when I was a Congressional Aide. I’m really disappointed to see this post ask “thoughts” as if the grossness of men invading women’s boundaries to sniff and touch is is debatable. And shame on some of the women here excusing this as boys being boys or it’s not as bad as Trump. I can speak from experience when I say it’s an incredibly uncomfortable situation and not at all acceptable. We need to hold our men to the same standards we hold all men.
Paul was a 19th century suffragette who advocated for and helped secure passage of the 19 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guaranteed women the right to vote.
Lappos/Paul elaborated on the inappropriate contact in comments to the Courant.
“I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody,” Lappos said. “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 made clear that she is speaking out now because Biden is currently seen as running a stealth campaign for president and she believes it is important for voters to understand his record as he potentially seeks the nation’s highest office.
“If Biden truly supports women and gender equality he would step aside and support one of the many talented and qualified women running,” she said. “The same goes for the other men who have thrown their hat in the ring. Women are 52 percent of the population. We are not a minority, we are the majority. It is time we are represented as such. After 45 male presidents it is time we elect a woman.”
Lappos now works freelance with various nonprofit agencies. At the time, she was volunteering for Representative Jim Himes (D-CT). According to Lappos, the congressman was not in the room when Biden allegedly forced his nose against hers. Also at the fundraiser that day were eventual U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy as well as future governor Dannel Malloy.
Several women, whether former Biden staffers or long-time friends, have defended the former VP, who himself says he never intended to make women feel uncomfortable.
[image via SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images]