POLITICS

Connecticut Woman Says Joe Biden Touched Her Inappropriately At 2009 Fundraiser

Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide, says the then-vice president grabbed her by the head and rubbed noses with her.

Another woman has publicly accused Joe Biden of inappropriately touching her when he was vice president, drawing further scrutiny of his interactions with women over the years.

Amy Lappos of Milford, Connecticut, told The Hartford Courant on Monday that Biden grabbed her by the head and rubbed noses with her during a 2009 political fundraiser in Greenwich, an affluent town located in the southwest corner of the state.

The allegation comes after former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores published an op-ed in New York Magazine’s The Cut on Friday, alleging that Biden touched and kissed her without her consent in 2014.

Lappos, 43, said the alleged interaction occurred while she was volunteering at a fundraising luncheon for Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), whom she worked for as a congressional aide at the time. 

“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told the 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.”

Himes wasn’t in the room at the time, she told the Courant.

Neither Lappos nor a representative for Biden immediately responded to HuffPost’s requests for comment.

Flores, in her op-ed on Friday, alleged the vice president approached her from behind, put his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair and kissed the back of her head during a Las Vegas campaign rally. She was running for Nevada lieutenant governor at the time.

“I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’” she wrote, adding that the alleged interaction left her feeling “uneasy, gross, and confused.”

Lappos mentioned the alleged interaction on Sunday while commenting on a post that referenced Flores’ allegation in the Facebook group Connecticut Women in Politics.

“Biden did something similar to me at a fundraiser in Greenwich when I was a Congressional Aide,” she wrote. “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.”

Biden said in a statement Sunday that he “never” once believed he was acting inappropriately during his many years as a public figure.

“If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention,” he said in his statement, which did not offer an apology for his alleged actions.

Allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women have dogged the former vice president in recent weeks as he’s expected to enter the 2020 presidential race.

Several Democrats have spoken up in Biden’s defense since Flores first came forward. Stephanie Carter, whose husband is former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, denied that a 2015 photo recently circulated on social media portrayed inappropriate behavior on Biden’s part. The photo shows Biden with his hands on Carter’s shoulders and his face in her hair.

In an essay published on Medium on Sunday, Carter said the photo was “misleadingly extracted” from a video.

“I absolutely support her right to speak her truth and she should be, like all women, believed,” Carter wrote of Flores’ claim. “But her story is not mine. The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful.”

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