Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer who alleges Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, said Friday the Senate complaint she filed against the presumptive Democratic nominee did not use the explicit term “sexual assault.”

“I remember talking about him wanting me to serve drinks because he liked my legs and thought I was pretty and it made me uncomfortable,” Reade told The Associated Press. “I know that I was too scared to write about the sexual assault.”

While she did not use any explicit phrasing, she said the complaint describes the behavior that had bothered her.

“I talked about sexual harassment, retaliation,” she said. “The main word I used – and I know I didn’t use sexual harassment — I used ‘uncomfortable.’ And I remember ‘retaliation.’”


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Biden has denied knowing about any complaints against him from his time in the Senate, but has encouraged officials to investigate and look through the archives to see if Reade’s complaint exists. He has also flatly denied Reade’s allegation, saying “it never happened.”

Reade had previously indicated that the report she filed would support her claim, but now suggests that its details would not corroborate her allegation because of the vague language she employed.

Although seven other women have come forward and accused the former Vice President of making them uncomfortable with unwarranted displays of affection, Reade is the only woman alleging sexual assault.

Biden acknowledged the complaints in early April and said he would be more mindful of personal space.

“And I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility, my responsibility, and I’ll meet it,” Biden said.

He added, “The idea that I can’t adjust to the fact that personal space is important, more important than it’s ever been, is just not thinkable. I will. I will.”


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