Before Joe Biden was accused by multiple women of inappropriate touching and dubbed ‘Creepy Uncle Joe’, his wife Jill has written in her upcoming memoir, that public displays of affection like hugs, kisses and rubs have always been the norm for the former Vice President and his family.
‘He was always holding my hand, putting his arm around me, or brushing the hair from my face,’ when they began dating, the former Second Lady writes in her ‘deeply personal’ memoir
She admits that being thrust into a family of ‘huggers’ made her feel ‘strange and uncomfortable’, writing that Joe and his two young sons ‘never wanted to miss a chance to hold a hand, wrap their arms around each other, or give a kiss’.
She says that as an introvert, she ‘sometimes found all that affection draining’, but knew that it was the death of his first wife Neilia and their baby daughter Naomi that gave the family an understanding of ‘how precious every second could be’, which was displayed by ‘constantly touching’ and ‘being connected to each other’.
But it’s those same displays of affection that have led to eight women coming forward with their accounts of how Biden made them uncomfortable by squeezing their shoulders, touching their thighs, smelling their hair or kissing their head.
Jill Biden says her husband Joe has been handsy since they first began dating, she reveals in her new memoir. Biden is pictured kissing her forehead after announcing his bid for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination
Jill details in her new book how his overly affectionate family made her feel ‘strange and uncomfortable’, but ultimately said of Joe, ‘He connects with people so easily and he never hesitates when a stranger wants to tell him something personal or give him a hug’. He’s pictured touching his wife’s shoulder as she introduces him in 2014
DailyMailTV obtained a copy of former Second Lady’s ‘deeply personal’ memoir Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself out May 7
‘I realized that physical affection played an important role in his entire family,’ Jill writes. ‘Val [Joe’s sister] couldn’t walk by the boys without reaching out to touch their shoulders or brush their heads. Their parents stopped by often to shower the boys with kisses.’
Jills tells of Joe’s nighttime ritual with the boys where he’d gently scratch their backs and arms as they settled in to sleep. ‘With your fingernails!’, the boys would insist.
‘He did the same at Mass as a way of keeping them still,’ she writes.
That affection, as many of his supporters and defenders have said, is what makes Joe the politician he is.
Jill says: ‘He connects with people so easily and he never hesitates when a stranger wants to tell him something personal or give him a hug.
‘When Joe loves, he loves hard; he’s all in.’
She details how their first date was set up over a cold call from Joe.
‘How did you get this number?’ were the first words she said to then-Delaware Senator Biden in 1975.
A confident Joe said he got her number from his brother Frank after he saw Jill on a poster at the Wilmington, Delaware, airport.
‘That’s the kind of girl I’d like to date,’ the widower and father-of two told his brother when he saw Jill’s photo.
Jill writes that she had a date that night and Joe boldly asked her to cancel it.
She did, they got to know each other over dinner and a movie and would meet up consecutively for three nights.
Biden, who is now mulling a White House run, has addressed making his accusers feel uncomfortable and vowed to be ‘more mindful’ in the future about respecting personal space.
He released a two-minute video addressing the claims.
‘I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I’ve made to some women and some men and I’ve made them uncomfortable,’ he said in the video.
His sister Valerie Biden Owens is equally as affectionate with Joe and his kids. ‘Val couldn’t walk by the boys without reaching out to touch their shoulders or brush their heads,’ Jill writes. The siblings are pictured together sharing a tender moment in 2018
Jill writes that Joe and his two young sons Hunter and Beau ‘never wanted to miss a chance to hold a hand, wrap their arms around each other, or give a kiss’ after the death of their mother and his first wife Neilia and daughter Naomi (pictured before their deaths at Joe’s 30th birthday party)
‘I always try to be in my career, always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people. I grab men and women by the shoulders and say you can do this, whether they’re women, men, young, old.
‘It’s the way I’ve always been and tried to show that I care about them and I’m listening,’ he said, mirroring Jill’s claims in her book about the Biden family’s way of displaying affection.
In his video, Biden referred to his wife and daughter being killed in a car crash in December 1972 shortly after he was first elected to the Senate. His sons Beau and Hunter survived, but Beau died in May 2015 of brain cancer.
‘Over the years knowing I’ve been through the things that I’ve faced, I found that scores, if not hundreds, of people have come up to me and reached out for solace and comfort. Something, anything that may help them get through the tragedy they’re going through. So it’s just who I am,’ Biden said.
The longtime Democratic senator said he has ‘never thought of politics as cold and antiseptic’.
‘Now, it is all about taking selfies together. Social norms begin to change and they’ve shifted and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been re-set and I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying,’ he said.
Eight woman in total, including Sofie Karasek, have come forward saying Joe Biden had made them uncomfortable with inappropriate touching. Karasek said Biden pressed his forehead against hers at the 2016 Oscars (pictured above in a moment that has been widely shared) after she took to the stage as a sexual assault survivor
This is another photo that has been circulated to prove the ‘Creepy Uncle Joe’ theory showing Biden leaning in to say something to Maggie Coons, next to her father Sen Chris Coons after Biden administered the Senate oath to Coons in 2015
Biden promised to be more ‘mindful and respectful’ going forward.
‘I understand it. And I’ll be much more mindful. That is my responsibility. My responsibility and I’ll meet it. But I’ll always believe governing, quite frankly, and life for that matter is about connecting, about connecting with people. That won’t change. I will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space and that is a good thing. That is a good thing,’ he said.
He concluded by addressing his history as an advocate for women.
‘I worked my life empower women. I worked my whole life to prevent abuse. So the idea that I can’t adjust to the fact the personal space is important – more important than it’s ever been, is just not true. I will. I will,’ he said.
The public scrutiny against Biden has caught the attention of President Trump, who himself has been accused of sexual harassment.
Trump trolled Biden Thursday when he tweeted a parody video making fun of the former VP as he pledged to alter behavior.
‘WELCOME BACK JOE!’ Trump wrote above the video.
‘I see that you are on the job and presidential, as always,’ Biden replied later in the day.
JOE BIDEN’S FULL STATEMENT:
In the coming month I expect to be talking to you about a whole lot of issues and I’ll always be direct with you but today I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement that I have made to women and some men, and I’ve made them uncomfortable.
And I’m always trying to be, in my career, I have always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility I think. I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders to say “You can do this.”
Whether they’re women, men, young, old, it’s the way I’ve always been and the way I’ve tried to show I care about them and I’m listening.
Over the years, knowing the things that I’ve been through and the things that I’ve faced I’ve found that scores, if not hundreds of people, come up to me, and reached out for solace and comfort, something, anything that may help them get through the tragedy they’re going through.
So, it’s just who I am.
And I’ve never thought of politics as a cold and antiseptic. I’ve always thought of it as about connecting people – as I’ve said, shaking hands, hands on the shoulder, a hug, encouragement.
And now, now, it’s all about taking selfies together.
You know social norms have begun to change, they’ve shifted, and the boundaries of protecting personal space have been reset.
I get it. I get it. I hear what they’re saying.
I understand it and I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility – my responsibility and I’ll meet it.
But I always believe, governing, quite frankly, life for that matter is about connecting, connecting with people.
That won’t change but I will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space and that’s a good thing – a good thing.
I’ve worked my whole life to empower women. I’ve worked my whole life to prevent abuse. I’ve written, err, err, and so the idea that I can’t adjust to the fact that personal space is important, more important than it’s ever been is just not there.
I will. I will.