Joe Biden Faces New Accusations Of Inappropriate Touching
The potential presidential candidate has been accused by a second woman of misplaced conduct, days after former lawmaker Lucy Flores said she was subject to an "awkward kiss" from the former VP.
Touted as the Democratic front-runner -- though he hasn't yet announced a White House bid -- Joe Biden is under scrutiny for his behaviour with women.
President Obama's former VP -- known affectionately as "Uncle Joe" -- has been the subject of harassment claims from two women in a matter of days.
The second woman, Amy Lappos, told her local Connecticut newspaper on Monday Biden had approached her inappropriately at a political fundraiser.
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“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head," Lappos, 43, told the Hartford Courant of the 2009 incident.
“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 said she didn't file a complaint "because he was the vice president" and she "was a nobody".
"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," she told the Courant.
Lappos' allegations comes three days after a former Nevada assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, said Biden touched her at a 2014 event.
Flores wrote about her experience in an online essay, where she said Biden's potential White House bid compelled her to share details of their interaction.
She claimed Biden "inhaled my hair" and then "proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head".
"I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing more than to get Biden away from me," Flores recalled.
Flores said Biden's behaviour was known to be "creepy" and cited "multiple articles" written about it.
Biden responded to Flores' essay on Sunday in a statement.
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“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once -- never -- did I believe I acted inappropriately," Biden said.
"If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention," he added.
While he made it clear that he believed he was innocent of all allegations, Biden committed to listen respectfully to claims he had acted inappropriately.
“We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will,” he said.
Footage (above) is circulating of an incident four years ago, when Biden was scrutinised after rubbing the shoulders and whispering in the ear of former Secretary of Defense, Ashton B. Carter.'s wife.
Stephanie Carter felt compelled to clear the air over the incident on Sunday, writing an essay for Medium quashing any suggestions of improper behaviour.
"The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful.”