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- Former Vice President Joe Biden is the 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner, but he’s faced some headwinds when it comes to his conduct toward women.
- Eight women have alleged that Biden either touched them inappropriately or violated their personal space in ways that made them uncomfortable.
- Biden has also been criticized for repeatedly commenting on the physical appearance of women on the campaign trail, and for refusing to explicitly apologize for his behavior.
- Scroll down for a list of the allegations against Biden, as well as the encounters he’s had with girls while campaigning.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Eight women have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately or invading their personal space in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. None of them said Biden’s behavior amounted to sexual harassment or assault.
Biden released a two-minute video after the initial allegations came out, but he was criticized for giving what critics deemed a "non-apology apology," in which he said he would try to do better moving forward. He later said he’s "not sorry for anything that I’ve ever done."
The Delaware Democrat was further criticized for repeatedly making light of the allegations, and for commenting on the physical appearance of young girls he’s met on the 2020 campaign trail in recent weeks.
Biden’s defenders on both the left and the right say he didn’t mean to offend anyone with his actions and that he prefers connecting with people on a personal level. But others say Biden’s apparent unwillingness to change his ways is evidence that he doesn’t understand how his actions have impacted people.
Here are a list of the allegations against Biden and his controversial interactions with young girls on the campaign trail:
Ally Coll, a former Democratic staffer, told The Washington Post that when she met Biden in 2008, he complimented her smile, squeezed her shoulders, and held her "for a beat too long."
Screenshot/American Law Journal
Coll initially brushed off the incident, but she told The Post that reflecting on it now, she believes Biden’s actions were inappropriate.
"There’s been a lack of understanding about the way that power can turn something that might seem innocuous into something that can make somebody feel uncomfortable," Coll told The Post in April.
Sofie Karasek was photographed holding hands and touching foreheads with Biden at the 2016 Academy Awards. While many saw the moment as powerful, Karasek said she felt Biden had violated her personal space.
Paul Elias/AP Images
Karasek was one of dozens of sexual-assault survivors who stood on stage while Lady Gaga performed, "Til It Happens To You," which deals with rape and sexual assault.
The photograph of her and Biden went viral, but Karasek told The Washington Post that she felt the former vice president encroached on her personal space.
She also said she didn’t think Biden’s two-minute apology video adequately addressed the allegations against him. Biden never explicitly apologized for his actions, and Karasek said he "didn’t take ownership in the way that he needs to."
"He emphasized that he wants to connect with people and, of course, that’s important," she said. "But again, all of our interactions and friendships are a two-way street … Too often it doesn’t matter how the woman feels about it or they just assume that they’re fine with it."
Amy Stokes Lappos said Biden "put his hands behind my head and pulled me close and I thought, ‘he’s going to kiss me’" during a 2009 event.
Screenshot/WTNH News 8
Lappos, a small business owner and Democratic political activist, said the interaction with Biden occurred at a Greenwich, Connecticut fundraiser for Democratic Rep. Jim Himes in 2009.
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