Woman In Viral Oscars Photo With Biden Comes Forward

Former Vice President Joe Biden has not officially declared a run for the presidency in 2020, but a new slew of allegations that he acted inappropriately towards women are being seen as disqualifying.

The former vice president has more than a half-dozen allegations against him and a new allegation surfaced on Thursday when Sofie Karasek, a sexual assault survivors advocate, penned her interaction in an op-ed, Politico reports.

In the Washington Post op-ed, Karasek said she felt “shame and belittlement” when a photo of her and Biden at the 2016 Oscars began to go viral.

She said she hopes Biden takes more responsibility for his actions amid the numerous allegations.

As Politico reports, Karasek described her interaction as “unwelcome, uncomfortable and strange”:

Karasek had just appeared onstage at the Academy Awards alongside survivors of sexual assault and advocates while Lady Gaga performed a song from a documentary about assault on college campuses. Biden had introduced the group, and Karasek wrote that afterward she told him the story of a woman who days before had died by suicide after being sexually assaulted.

In response to her story, Karasek wrote, Biden “leaned down, took my hands and put his forehead to mine.”

“I was taken aback. I averted my eyes, hoping my body language could shorten the interaction. I didn’t think he was going to kiss me, but it felt like if I met his eyes, it wasn’t out of the question, either,” she continued. “It was unwelcome, uncomfortable and strange. At the same time, I was glad to convey this serious message to him, glad it seemed to resonate with him.”

According to Karasek, Biden has previously worked on behalf of sexual assault survivors so he is not ignorant on the subject, especially how to behave around women and how his actions “could be making women uncomfortable.”

Here’s more from Politico:

At least half a dozen women have come forward in the last week to accuse Biden of touching them in ways they said were inappropriate and unwelcome, touching off a conversation in the wake of the #MeToo movement about respecting others’ personal space.

Biden’s penchant for an especially tactile style of politicking has been well-documented throughout his career but has come in recent weeks to be seen in a new light. The accusations of inappropriate contact threaten to cloud the kickoff of Biden’s expected run for president as some argue that the former vice president has not responded adequately.

Biden remained quiet, only responding to the women through spokespeople, until Wednesday, when he posted a video on Twitter acknowledging that “social norms have begun to change.” He vowed to be “more mindful and respectful” of personal boundaries, but many were quick to point out he never directly apologized.

Read Karasek’s full op-ed by clicking here: A photo of me and Joe Biden went viral. I want him to take ownership for his actions.