Woman who accused Joe Biden of sexual assault defects to Russia

Former Senate aide Tara Reade, who made the claim during presidential campaign, appears on Russian state media

Tara Reade, the former Senate aide who accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault as he ran for president in 2020, said on Tuesday that she had moved to Russia and was seeking citizenship there, according to Sputnik, a Russian-government-run news site.

Ms Reade told Sputnik in a news conference that while her “dream is to live” in both the United States and Russia, she might only reside in Russia because that is where she feels “surrounded by protection and safety”.

In 2019, Ms Reade, who briefly worked as a staff assistant in Mr Biden’s Senate office in 1993, accused him of inappropriately touching her. Then in 2020, around the time when he appeared likely to win the Democratic nomination for president, she accused him of sexual assault. Mr Biden flatly denied her allegations.

In interviews with The New York Times in April 2020, no former Biden staff members could corroborate any details of Ms Reade’s allegation or recall any similar behaviour by Mr Biden toward her or any women. A friend of Ms Reade said that she had told her the details of the allegation at the time.


In May 2020, a high-profile lawyer of the #MeToo era, Douglas H Wigdor, dropped Ms Reade as a client as her credibility came under harsh scrutiny, after Antioch University disputed her claim of having received a bachelor’s degree from its Seattle campus.

On Tuesday, Ms Reade told Sputnik that while her decision to go to Russia “was very difficult,” she believed she would be more safe there.

“As far as like going to another safe haven, I mean, there are many Americans here, and I don’t want to out a bunch of Americans, but there are people here that are coming to Russia,” Ms Reade said.

She added that “luckily, the Kremlin is accommodating.”

“So we’re lucky,” she said.

Her departure to Russia comes as Moscow and Washington spar over the war in Ukraine, which president Vladimir Putin casts as an existential struggle with the West, which backs Kyiv.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times