- The woman who has accused presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her has retained a law firm that represents women who say they were victims of convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein.
- The announcement by the New York firm Wigdor LLP came as the journalist Megyn Kelly prepared to publish an interview with the accuser, Tara Reade.
- Biden, who served as vice president from 2009 through 2017, had strongly denied Reade’s claim that he forcibly penetrated his then-Senate staffer against her will in the 1993.
The woman who says presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sexually assaulted her has retained a law firm that represents women who claim that they were victims of convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, the once-powerful movie mogul, the firm said Thursday.
The announcement by the New York firm Wigdor LLP came as the journalist Megyn Kelly prepared to publish an interview with the accuser, Tara Reade.
“We at Wigdor LLP firmly believe that every survivor of sexual assault has the right to competent legal counsel, and we will represent Ms. Reade zealously, just as we would any other victim of sexual violence,” said the statement issued by Douglas Wigdor, the firm’s name partner.
Biden, who served as vice president from 2009 through 2017, has strongly denied Reade’s claim that he assaulted then-Biden Senate staffer against her will in the 1993 when she allegedly was giving him a gym bag in a hallway on Capitol Hill.
“I’m saying unequivocally that it never, never happened,” Biden said in an interview last Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Biden in that interview had “the full and growing record of inconsistencies” in Reade’s accusations and said: “They aren’t true. This never happened.”
Wigdor, in his statement, said, “Ms. Reade will be heard shortly in an interview conducted by Megyn Kelly and produced by Richard McHugh, and she will describe to the American public what happened to her,” Wigdor said in an emailed statement. “Her harrowing account is credible and supported by numerous ‘outcry’ witnesses from decades ago.”
McHugh is a former NBC News producer who worked with journalist and author Ronan Farrow on the Weinstein story.
Reade rattled Biden’s presidential campaign in March with an interview on a podcast in which she said that he Biden pinned her against a wall and pentrated her with his finger in a hallway when he was a senator from Delaware.
Reade’s brother and a former neighbor have said that she Reade discussed details of the alleged assault with them in the 1990s.
But a number of people who worked in Biden’s Senate office at the same time has Reade has said that her claims do not jibe with their own experience working for him.
Wigdor’s statement also said, “It is inevitable that partisan politics will lead people to attack our firm and Mr. Wigdor specifically, particularly given his support of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.”
“However, any objective view of Mr. Wigdor’s career and the history of the Firm (which is comprised of partners, lawyers and staff from all political parties) belie such a false narrative and make clear that our representation is simply a continuation of our objective support of all legitimate victims,” the email said.
The statement cited the fact that Wigdor “was a vocal advocate of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and her counsel during the nomination of now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” whom Ford accused of a sexual assault. Kavanaugh denied Ford’s claims.
Wigdor also noted that he represented Juliette Huddy in connection with her claims against former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly, and “lead counsel to a group of employees who brought race discrimination and harassment claims against Fox News.”
He also brought a claim against Fox News alleging that it had conspired with a Trump supported to publish a defamatory article concerning the murder of Seth Rich.
And Wigdor noted that he “represents six Harvey Weinstein victims.”
“There are many other examples that we could list, but we wanted to be crystal clear. Our representation of Ms. Reade has absolutely nothing to do with politics. We have decided to take this matter on because every survivor has the right to competent counsel, and that is exactly what we will provide,” the statement said.
“As Mr. Biden himself has acknowledged, ‘believing women means taking the women’s claims seriously when she steps forward, and then vet[ting] it and look[ing] into it … women have a right to be heard.’ We will help Ms. Reade be heard.”
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