Politics

Biden doesn't recall alleged close encounter with former Nevada assemblywoman

Dennis Romero
Key Points
  • Former Nevada assemblywoman Lucy Flores on Friday accused former Vice President Joe Biden of kissing the back of her head without permission. 
  • Biden responded, saying her allegations should be taken seriously,  but that he doesn't  remember the incident.
  • Biden is expected to enter the 2020 presidential race in a few weeks.
Former Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores introduced former Vice President Joe Biden at a get-out-the-vote rally at a union hall on November 1, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday that he had no recollection of an alleged close encounter in 2014 with a state legislator running at the time for lieutenant governor of Nevada.

Lucy Flores wrote of the meeting for New York Magazine's the Cut blog Friday, saying Biden had placed his hands on her shoulders and then kissed the back of her head as the two awaited their turn together on stage during a rally for Democrats vying for office.

"Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?" she wrote of the situation.

"He leaned further in and inhaled my hair," Flores wrote. "I was mortified. ... He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn't process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused."

Flores, who did not ascend to the lieutenant governor's post, said she brushed it off because she saw no clear path to justice.

"I felt powerless to do anything about it," wrote Flores, who has since co-founded a Latina advocacy group, Luz Collective.

"Even if his behavior wasn't violent or sexual, it was demeaning and disrespectful," she wrote.

Biden is expected to announce in coming weeks whether he will run for president in 2020.

A spokesperson for the former vice president said in a statement Friday that such allegations should be taken seriously but that Biden does not remember the incident.

"Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes," the spokesperson said.

"But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so," the statement said. "He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best."