1996 court doc shows Tara Reade's ex-husband knew about 'sexual harassment' while she worked for Biden: report | Fox News
By: Joseph Wulfsohn (Fox News)
A newly emerged court document from 1996 shows Tara Reade's ex-husband was told about "sexual harassment" that took place while she worked in then-Sen. Joe Biden's office, according to a report.
The San Luis Obispo Tribune obtained a court filing on Thursday from San Luis Obispo County showing Reade's then-husband, Theodore Dronen, referring to her time working for the Delaware senator. The declaration came in response to a restraining order she had filed against him after he filed for divorce.
The court document, however, did not directly accuse the former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate of sexual harassment or refer to a sexual assault.
"I met Petitioner in the spring of 1993 while working in Washington D.C. At the early stages of our dating, Petitioner felt comfortable confiding in me as we both worked for members of Congress, and we shared many common interests," the document obtained by the Tribune read. "On several occasions Petitioner related a problem that she was having at work regarding sexual harassment, in U.S. Senator Joe Biden's office. Petitioner told me she struck a deal with the chief of staff of the senator's office and left her position."
Dronen continued, "I was sympathetic to her needs when she asked me for help, and assisted her financially, and allowed her to stay in my apartment with my roommate while she looked for work. It was obvious that this event had a very traumatic effect on Petitioner, and that she is still sensitive and [affected] by it today."
The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment, but Biden repeated his denial to Spectrum Bay News 9, telling the Florida outlet, "nothing ever happened with Tara Reade."
Also, Deputy Biden Campaign Manager Kate Bedingfield said in a new statement: "Every day, more and more inconsistencies arise. Women must receive the benefit of the doubt. They must be able to come forward and share their stories without fear of retribution or harm - and we all have a responsibility to ensure that. At the same time, we can never sacrifice the truth. And, the truth is that these allegations are false and that the material that has been presented to back them up, under scrutiny, keeps proving their falsity."
"He did say in his view, accusers 'should start off with the presumption that they're telling the truth.' Do you think he has afforded you that presumption?" Megyn Kelly asked.
"No," Reade responded. "I mean, it's been stunning, actually, how some of his surrogates with the blue checks, you know... his surrogates have been saying really horrible things about me and to me on social media. He hasn't himself, but there's a measure of hypocrisy with the campaign saying it's safe. It has not been safe. All of my social media has been hacked, all of my personal information has been dragged through, every person that maybe has a, you know, gripe against me -- an ex-boyfriend or an ex-landlord, whatever it is -- has been able to have a platform rather than me, talking about things that have nothing to do with 1993."
She explained, "Even with the whole thing with being called a Russian agent, that in particular, that incites these people. I got a death threat from that because they thought I was being a traitor to America. I mean, these are serious things. And, his campaign has taken this position that they all want women to be able to speak safely. I have not experienced that."
"If he's watching this, what do you want to say to him?" Kelly asked.
"I want to say, 'You and I were there, Joe Biden. Please step forward and be held accountable. You should not be running on character for the president of the United States."
When asked if she wanted Biden to withdraw from the 2020 race, Reade said, "I wish he would. but he won't, but I wish he would. That's how I feel emotionally."
Also in the preview clip, Reade also said it's "a little late" for Biden to apologize.
In a second preview clip, Reade told Kelly that she "believed" past survivors who have come forward including Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in 2018, but called for a "conversation" instead of a "hashtag."
"Does Joe Biden get due process? " Kelly pressed the Biden accuser. "Does he get the chance to vet these claims and defend himself? Is that okay?"
"I think he's been doing that, right?" Reade responded. "He's had a chance for more platforms than I have."
Kelly then pointed to people who found Blasey Ford as "credible" for going under oath, subjecting herself to cross-examination and taking a polygraph test.
"Would you go under oath?" Kelly asked.
"Absolutely," Reade quickly answered, later offering the same response about her willingness to be cross-examined.
However, regarding a polygraph test, she challenged Biden to take one as well.
"I'm not a criminal. Joe Biden should take the polygraph," Reade told Kelly. "What kind of precedent does that set for survivors of violence? Does that mean we're presumed guilty and we all have to take polygraphs? So, I will take one if Joe Biden takes one, but I'm not a criminal."
Fox News' Allie Raffa contributed to this report.
Joseph A. Wulfsohn is a media reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @JosephWulfsohn.
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