Lucy Flores Accuses Joe Biden of Touching Her Inappropriately
Lucy Flores and Joe Biden

Lucy Flores Accuses Joe Biden of Touching Her Inappropriately

Former Vice President Joe Biden is again in the spotlight for allegedly touching women inappropriately in public. Biden says it’s only “expressions of affection, support and comfort.” But several fellow Democrats are supporting former Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores who claims Biden stood behind her backstage, smelled her hair and kissed the back of her head.

In 2014, Flores was running for lieutenant governor and Biden had agreed to speak at one of her last events of the race.

“I felt him get closer to me from behind,” Flores writes in an op-ed published in The Cut on Friday.

“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 f**k? 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.”

Biden released a statement on Sunday. He said he’s given countless handshakes and hugs on the campaign trail.

“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.”

“If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention,” the statement continues.

He does not directly address the recent allegations, nor does he apologize.

Viral Photo

In 2015, a photo went viral of Biden standing behind Stephanie Carter, wife of new Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter at his White House swearing-in ceremony. He was holding her by her shoulders and appeared to be whispering in her ear. Many said Biden appeared “creepy” in that moment.

But Carter wrote in a blog post on Friday that, that wasn’t the case: “He leaned in to tell me ‘thank you for letting him do this’ and kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support. But a still shot taken from a video — misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends — sent out in a snarky tweet — came to be the lasting image of that day.”

Some are keeping tabs on Biden’s public exchanges with women, even compiling videos.

‘It was shocking’

Flores appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday and stood by the claims she made in the op-ed.

“Very unexpectedly and out of nowhere I feel Joe Biden put his hands on my shoulders, get up very close to me from behind, lean in, smell my hair and then plant a slow kiss on the top of my head. That, in and of itself, might not sound like it’s a very serious thing,” she told Jake Tapper.

“That… might sound like it was innocent and well-intentioned. But in the context of it, as a person who had absolutely no relationship with him afterwards, as a candidate who was preparing my case as to why I should be elected the second in command of that state, to have the vice president of the United States do that to me so unexpectedly and just kind of out of nowhere, it was just shocking.”

Flores also explained why she didn’t go pubic with the allegations at the time.

“You just kind of process it and then you move on, because you have a job to do… There just isn’t a mechanism to deal with it,” she said.

Even if she wanted to come forward, Flores said she didn’t know who she could tell.

“I felt powerless,” she said. “Frankly, what do you say? Who do you tell?”

In several 2020 presidential polls, Biden is leading, even though he hasn’t made a announcement on whether he plans to run for office.

Some Democratic presidential candidates are supporting Flores’ claims.

“I have no reason not to believe Lucy,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) said on “Face the Nation.”

He was asked if the allegations should disqualify Biden from running for president.

“I think that’s a decision for the vice president to make,” Sanders said. “I’m not sure that one incident alone disqualifies anybody.”

At an Iowa event on Saturday, both Julian Castro and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) backed Flores.

“I read the op-ed last night,” Warren said. “I believe Lucy Flores. And Joe Biden needs to give an answer.”

Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said that “we need to live in a nation where people can hear her truth.”

Latest News

CDO Series: Humana’s Carolyn Tandy

Following the murder of George Floyd, the role of Chief Diversity Officers has become more important as companies started to be more intentional with their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which has made the last few years tumultuous for many CDOs. In the first interview of a series of articles…

The Importance of Education-Focused Community Partnerships

Community partnerships focused on education are vital to creating and improving the network that connects diverse, underrepresented students and young professionals with employers seeking new talent. For Stephanie Turner, VP of Inclusion, Diversity and Social Innovation at MITRE, advocation starts at the root of education: grade school curriculum, especially in…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: August 4

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. The Supreme Court’s…

Mastercard Names Ellen Jackowski Chief Sustainability Officer

Originally published at mastercard.com. Mastercard ranked No. 2 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.   Mastercard announced Ellen Jackowski will join the company as Chief Sustainability Officer starting July 25, 2022. In this role, she will be instrumental in further integrating Mastercard’s Environmental, Social and Governance…

Seven Startups Join Mastercard Start Path Program, Supporting Underrepresented Founders

Originally published at mastercard.com. Mastercard ranked No. 2 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.   Mastercard is expanding its award-winning Start Path startup engagement program to include seven early and late-stage startups hailing from the United States, Canada and Latin America. Carbon Neutral Club, Guava, oneKIN, Palla, SUMA…