A second woman has come forward with accusations that former Vice President Joe Biden touched her inappropriately while she was working as a campaign volunteer at a political fundraiser in 2009, adding fuel to the fire amid the controversy over the presumed presidential candidate’s alleged unwanted contact with women.
According to a story in Politico, 43-year-old Amy Lappos told reporters on Monday that while she was volunteering at a 2009 fundraiser for Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, Biden, without warning or consent, pulled her toward him with his hand on the back of her neck, and rubbed noses with her. While Lappos was quick to point out that she didn’t read the move as explicitly sexual, she was momentarily afraid that he might try to kiss her.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told the Hartford Courant. “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.”
Lappos, who is now a freelance writer and works with non-profit agencies, was working as a congressional aide to Rep. Himes at the time. She says her boss wasn’t present in the room when the alleged incident with Biden took place. She did note that while the incident made her uncomfortable, she didn’t file a complaint at the time simply due to the perceived power differential between her and Biden.
“I never filed a complaint, to be honest, because he was the vice president. I was a nobody,” Lappos said, adding, “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.”
The new allegation leveled at Biden by Lappos comes just three days after Lucy Flores, a former Nevada lawmaker, who also ran as candidate for lieutenant governor in Nevada, alleged that Biden gave her “an awkward kiss” at a 2014 campaign event.
Flores has more fully outlined her position on the alleged 2014 incident over the past two days, saying that she hopes to promote a larger conversation “about his troubling past when it comes to women.” She also joined with others who are currently using social media to point out old photos of Biden engaged in what appears to be troubling close contact with various women and girls, including politicians and their family members.
Biden’s spokesperson issued a statement on Monday dismissing the resurfacing of the photos as little more than participating in an “ugly urban legend.”