BREAKING: 1996 court document confirms Reade told of harassment in Biden’s office

The Hill reports a 1996 court document obtained by the San Luis Obispo Tribune shows that Tara Reade, the former Senate aide who has accused former Vice President Joe Biden of sexual assault, told her ex-husband about “a problem she was having at work regarding sexual harassment in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office.”

The new findings come as the Biden campaign has sought to locate a 1993 complaint of sexual harassment Reade claims she filed at the time.

Per the San Luis Obispo Tribune a court document from 1996 shows former Senate staffer Tara Reade told her ex-husband she was sexually harassed while working for Joe Biden in 1993.

The declaration — exclusively obtained by The Tribune in San Luis Obispo, California — does not say Biden committed the harassment nor does it mention Reade’s more recent allegations of sexual assault.

Reade’s then-husband Theodore Dronen wrote the court declaration. Dronen at the time was contesting a restraining order Reade filed against him days after he filed for divorce, Superior Court records show.

In it, he writes Reade told him about “a problem she was having at work regarding sexual harassment, in U.S. Senator Joe Biden’s office.”

It appears to be the only written record that has surfaced from the time that substantiates Reade shared her account in the years following the alleged incident, though a former neighbor came forward last week about similar conversations she said she had with Reade in 1995.

The news came as Reade was preparing for the release of her first on-camera interview since the former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee for president personally denied the allegations May 1 on MSNBC. Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly tweeted about the interview Thursday morning, calling it “a riveting exchange.” She did not indicate when it would be published.

In the filing dated March 25, 1996, Dronen testified that he met Reade in the spring of 1993 while the two worked for separate members of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Dronen wrote that Reade told him she “eventually struck a deal with the chief of staff of the Senator’s office and left her position.”

“It was obvious that this event had a very traumatic effect on (Reade), and that she is still sensitive and effected (sic) by it today,” Dronen wrote.

A declaration filed March 1996 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court by the ex-husband of Tara Reade includes this passage referencing Read’s experience as a former Senate staffer for then-Sen. Joe Biden in 1993. Notably, it mentions “sexual harassment” rather than “sexual assault,” and it doesn’t specifically accuse Biden of misconduct. Matt Fountain [email protected]

Dronen filed the record in response to a similar declaration written by Reade in support of her restraining order request, in which Reade described incidents of abuse throughout her life. In interviews with The Tribune and other media, Reade has identified herself as a domestic violence survivor and victim’s advocate.

Though the ex-husband disputed many statements Reade made in her declaration, he wrote at the time that the alleged incident in Biden’s office and others described in the document “color (Reade’s) perception and judgment” of her civil case.

Reade has recently said that in 1993, Biden pushed her up against a wall in a semi-private hallway, reached under her skirt, and penetrated her with his fingers.

Her account has changed over time. In 2019 she was one of eight women to accuse Biden of unwanted touching, but not sexual assault.

RESPONSE TO THE COURT DOCUMENT

Asked for comment Thursday, the national press secretary for Biden’s presidential campaign, T.J. Ducklo, said the campaign is not commenting on the latest development at this time.

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