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Two more people who knew Tara Reade in the ’90s reportedly came forward on Monday to back the former Senate staffer’s claims of sexual misconduct against Joe Biden.
Lynda LaCasse, a former next-door neighbor of Reade’s and a self-described supporter of Biden spoke on the record with Rich McHugh of Business Insider about past conversations they had with Reade about the allegations.
“This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it,” LaCasse told Business Insider, recalling a conversation with Reade that occurred in either 1995 or 1996.
Another past acquaintance, Lorraine Sanchez, a former colleague, also recalled past conversations with Reade, though she said did not recall Reade referring to Biden by name.
“[Reade said] she had been sexually harassed by her former boss while she was in DC,” Sanchez told the publication, “and as a result of her voicing her concerns to her supervisors, she was let go, fired.”
Biden himself has not addressed the claims from Reade — but his campaign has vehemently denied the allegations.
Reade on Monday confirmed to Fox News the accuracy of how her conversations with LaCasse and Sanchez were described and expressed her deep gratitude towards them for coming forward.
“I am touched that they would step forward knowing the targeted harassment I have received since I made my history with Joe Biden public. I appreciate their candor and bravery,” Reade said in a statement.
LaCasse and Sanchez could be cited as more evidence supporting Reade’s allegation.
They join Reade’s friend, who says they were told about the alleged assault at the time it happened but has chosen to remain anonymous, and her brother Collin Moulton, who recalled Reade describing an incident with Biden involving a “gym bag” as others who have backed her claims. The friend and Moulton both gave interviews to the Intercept.
LaCasse told Business Insider: “I remember her saying, here was this person that she was working for and she idolized him. And he kind of put her up against a wall. And he put his hand up her skirt and he put his fingers inside her. She felt like she was assaulted, and she really didn’t feel there was anything she could do.”
LaCasse said that Reade was “upset” when she told her about the allegation and “the more she talked about it, the more she started crying.” She said she remembered urging Reade to file a police report but did not recall specific details from the alleged incident, like the location or remarks Biden had allegedly made to Reade.
“I don’t remember all the details,” LaCasse told Business Insider. “I remember the skirt. I remember the fingers. I remember she was devastated.”
LaCasse, a retired staffer of San Luis Obispo General Hospital, said she lived in the same apartment complex as Reade in Morro Bay, Calif. She recalled how the two of them had talked about “violent stories” they’ve experienced, which was when Reade told her “about the senator that she had worked for and he put his hand up her skirt.”
“I personally am a Democrat, a very strong Democrat,” LaCasse said. “And I’m for Biden, regardless. But still I have to come out and say this.”
Reade’s former neighbor insisted that she wasn’t asked to come forward and that she “volunteered,” saying “If this was me, I would want somebody to stand up for me. It takes a lot of guts to do what she’s doing.”
“I have to support her just because that’s what happened,” LaCasse said. “We need to stand up and tell the truth.”
Sanchez, who was working as a staffer for California State Senator Jack O’Connell, said she mentored and worked with Reade between 1994 and 1996.
Sanchez said she did not recall Reade referring to Biden by name but remembered “reassuring her that nothing like that would ever happen to her here in our office, that she was in a safe place, free from any sexual harassment.”
“It takes great courage and strength to come forward,” Sanchez said in praising Reade. “It’s much easier to keep silent. However, I also understand the duty we have as women to share our story regardless of who the perpetrator may be.”
On Friday, a 1993 clip from “Larry King Live” surfaced showing an anonymous woman from San Luis Obispo, Calif. phoning into the iconic CNN talk show where she described “problems” her daughter was having with a “prominent senator.”
“San Luis Obispo, California, hello,” King begins.
“Yes, hello. I’m wondering what a staffer would do besides go to the press in Washington? My daughter has just left there, after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all, and the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him,” the caller says.
“In other words, she had a story to tell but, out of respect for the person she worked for, she didn’t tell it?” King inquires.
“That’s true,” the woman responds before King cuts away to a panel to discuss her claim.
#BREAKING: HERE is the video from August 11,1993's 'Larry King Live' described by @TheIntercept (and Tara Reade) as allegedly featuring her mother calling in and alluding to Reade's sexual assault claims against @JoeBiden (blog here by @ScottJW) https://t.co/fCgEqBnX7n pic.twitter.com/V5FGHskv56
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 24, 2020
That woman was Jeanette Altimus, Reade’s mother, Reade told news outlets, including Fox News.
Late Friday, the Media Research Center found the clip in its archives after The Intercept first reported on the Aug. 11, 1993 transcript earlier in the day.
Reade took to Twitter to confirm that it was her mother who called in to “Larry King Live.”
“This is my mom. I miss her so much and her brave support of me,” Reade tweeted about her mother, who died in 2016.
This is my mom. I miss her so much and her brave support of me. https://t.co/okU80kqWAI
— taratweets ( Alexandra Tara Reade) (@ReadeAlexandra) April 24, 2020