Actress Alyssa Milano speaks out in defence of Joe Biden over misconduct claims
Actress Alyssa Milano has leapt to the defence of former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, who has been accused by two women in recent days of sexual misconduct.
First of all, Lucy Flores, who was running as the Democratic candidate for Nevada's Lieutenant Governor in 2014, claims that Biden kissed her on the back of her head at a campaign event, smelled her hair and rubbed her shoulders without her consent.
In addition to this, Amy Lappos, a former aide to a Democratic Congressman, alleged that Biden touched her inappropriately at a fundraiser in 2009.
As a result of these claims, Alyssa Milano, an actress, activist and vocal representative of the Time's Up movement, has made a public statement defending Biden as a friend and professional.
Taking to Twitter in an emotional post, Milano wrote:
"I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend. He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them.
That's who Joe Biden is - a warm, generous individual who believes it's on all of us to pay attention to women's stories and experiences."
In follow-up tweets, Milano added:
"Biden started Its On Us [sic] because he believes to meaningfully change our culture, everyone - including those often left out of the conversation like college athletes and fraternity brothers - needed to be part of the movement. Joe Biden’s response that he never meant to make anyone uncomfortable and that he'll listen and learn from anyone who says otherwise is exactly the leadership we need to build a culture where women are heard and are equal.
"I respect Lucy Flores' decision to share her story and agree with Biden that we all must pay attention to it. But, just as we must believe women that decide to come forward, we cannot assume all women's experiences are the same. I believe that Joe Biden's intent has never been to make anyone uncomfortable and that his kind, empathetic leadership is what our country needs. Especially now."
A spokesperson has also issued a statement on behalf of Biden regarding the controversy, which reads:
"In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once - never - did I believe I acted inappropriately.
But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will."
There has been much speculation that Biden was planning to run for president in the 2020 elections, but in the wake of these allegations, those plans may be thrown into doubt.