A woman has defended former US vice president Joe Biden over a photo which shows him apparently whispering in her ear and touching her shoulders.
Stephanie Carter said she was “reclaiming” her story after long-running claims the picture shows inappropriate touching.
The former deputy to Barack Obama has been accused by another woman, Lucy Flores, of “demeaning and disrespectful” behaviour.
Ms Flores said Mr Biden gave her a “big slow kiss” on the back of her head in 2014, making her feel “uneasy, gross, and confused”.
The ex-vice president said he had offered “countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort”, but believed he had never acted inappropriately.
The 2015 photo of Mrs Carter – wife of former defence secretary Ash Carter – has appeared in the media before, and in a new article for Medium she insisted the photo shows nothing untoward.
It was taken at her husband’s swearing in ceremony where she was “uncharacteristically nervous”, wrote Mrs Carter.
She said Mr Biden had “leaned in to tell me ‘thank you for letting him do this’ and kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support”.
“A still shot taken from a video - misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends - sent out in a snarky tweet came to be the lasting image of that day,” she wrote.
Mrs Carter said her story was no reflection on the claims by Lucy Flores.
She wrote: “Let me state upfront that I don’t know her, but I absolutely support her right to speak her truth and she should be, like all women, believed. But her story is not mine.”
Mr Biden is expected to soon announce he will contest the race to be Democratic nominee in next year’s US presidential election.
Source: SKY NEWS