Former Nevada Democratic state senator Lucy Flores has just accused former vice president Joe Biden of inappropriately touching her.
In a piece published in New York Magazine’s The Cut, Flores described an encounter that forever changed how she saw the man who many hope will run as the Democratic candidate for president.
Flores, a then-35-year-old Democratic nominee for Nevada’s lieutenant governor, was at a campaign rally where Biden had been brought in to give her a boost in getting Democrats to turn out to vote. That’s when she said the then-71-year Biden did something she did not expect.
Here’s what she wrote:
“As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ’Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual [expletive]? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’
He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
“I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me.”
“I had never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before,” she added. “He made me feel uneasy, gross, and confused.”
“Even if his behavior wasn’t violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful,” Flores continued.
“Who do you tell? What do you say?” she wondered aloud to her readers. “Is it enough of a transgression if a man touches and kisses you without consent, but doesn’t rise to the level of what most people consider sexual assault? I did what most women do, and moved on with my life and my work.”
Flores noted that she may have been able to give Biden “the benefit of the doubt” after he touched her, but not after learning about incidents of “Biden nuzzling the neck of the Defense secretary’s wife; Biden kissing a senator’s wife on the lips; Biden whispering in women’s ears; Biden snuggling female constituents.”
Mentioning his nickname of “America’s Creepy Uncle,” the former senator made references to the #MeToo movement and concluded, “’I’m not suggesting that Biden broke any laws, but the transgressions that society deems minor (or doesn’t even see as transgressions) often feel considerable to the person on the receiving end.”
Biden's representative declined to comment about Flores' claim when New York Magazine reached out to him.