As I wrote earlier, the #MeToo movement continues to struggle with Tara Reade’s allegations against Joe Biden. As I look at Reade’s allegations, one of the strongest things in its favor, in terms of credibility, is the fact that she told people about the assault at the time it happened. One of her friends has consistently backed her up on that point, however she has asked not be named by the media. However, yesterday Katie Halper’s podcast released an interview with this friend (who appears as Jane Doe). Halper is the same podcast host whose show first revealed Reade’s sexual assault allegations last month.
First, Halper notes that NPR recently recorded an interview with Reade’s friend (whom she refers to as Jane Doe) but for some reason chose not to air it:
NPR interviewed #TaraReade's friend but refused to air it. Here's my interview with her, in which she recalls Tara telling her about being allegedly sexually assaulted by Biden. Plus @ryangrim on breaking the story & @RichMcHugh on reporting on it https://t.co/gytiSrQE4e
— Katie Halper (@kthalps) April 22, 2020
It’s worth noting that Halper’s own interview with Jane Doe isn’t new. She recorded it after she recorded the interview with Reade but before that interview was published, so last month.
As Halper points out, Jane Doe confirms several elements of Reade’s story, including that she was asked to serve drinks at a function, that she reported her complaints, that she was asked to tone down the way she dressed, that she was later stuck in a tiny office. Doe denies that Reade every wore anything provocative but said that when they would go out they were never left alone. “Those eyes melted men,” Doe said adding, “She was stunning.” Doe said the real message being sent to Reade from Biden’s office was “put a bag over your head.”
Most importantly, Doe confirms that she heard that Biden had shoved Reade up against a wall and put his hands on her. Asked if she remembers being told about that, Doe replied, “I do and to be quite honest in my life I treated hearing that initially as a ‘How can I help my friend feel better?’ And afterward I tried to forget every bit of it as if I’d drove by a bad accident on the highway. As to the specifics, Doe said, “She did share that she was held up against a wall. When I said ‘Did you feel like you could walk away?’ she said no. That his hand went where it shouldn’t, below the belt.”
“You know there are gross things that you just don’t want to commit to memory,” Doe said. She added, “There are things you repress on purpose and it was just so gross and vile I haven’t made a point to try to remember it…But I do have to say it’s not like I met her last week and she said ‘Oh, once upon a time this happened to me.’ I mean, it was back then.”
Doe also said she remembers Reade’s mood when she called to tell her about the incident, saying she sounded confused and disoriented, wanting to try to sort out what had happened to her.
Does this prove Reade’s accusations are true? No, but it does offer some pretty strong support to her claims. The other person Reade apparently told in some detail at the time was her mother but her mother died a few years ago so it’s unfortunately too late to get additional confirmation from her.
Here’s the full interview with Reade’s friend.