UPDATE: Oct. 28 ― In an interview with CBS that will be broadcast on Sunday, Huma Abedin said she wasn’t sure if she would define her unwanted encounter with an unnamed U.S. senator as “sexual assault.”
CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell asked Abedin: “Are you suggesting that that senator assaulted you?”
I’m suggesting that I was in an uncomfortable situation with ... a senator and I didn’t know how to deal with it. And I buried the whole experience. But in my own personal opinion, no.
Did I feel like he was assaulting me in that moment? I didn’t, it didn’t feel that way. It felt like I needed to extricate myself from the situation, and he also spent a lot of time apologizing and making sure I was OK. And we were actually able to rebalance our relationship.
The book, “Both/And: A Life In Many Words,” will be published next week, but the Guardian got an advance peek at a passage in which Abedin describes an unidentified senator giving her a nonconsensual kiss in the mid-2000s.
According to the Guardian, Abedin wrote that she had accepted the senator’s invitation to have coffee in his building after a dinner that “a few senators and their aides” had attended (the group apparently did not include Clinton).
Abedin doesn’t identify the senator or his political party, the Guardian reports, but wrote that while she sat on his couch, “He plopped down to my right, put his left arm around my shoulder, and kissed me, pushing his tongue into my mouth, pressing me back on the sofa.”
“I was so utterly shocked, I pushed him away. All I wanted was for the last 10 seconds to be erased,” she wrote, according to the Guardian, adding that the senator apologized and said he’d “misread” her.
When he asked if she wanted to stay, Abedin wrote, “I said something only the twentysomething version of me would have come up with – ‘I am so sorry’ – and walked out, trying to appear as nonchalant as possible,” the Guardian says.
Apparently, Abedin managed to patch things up with the senator and erase the incident from her mind entirely until 2018, when Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court. Abedin was triggered when she read an article about Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford “being accused of ‘conveniently’ remembering” her alleged assault, the Guardian reports.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.