One thing is clear in Tara Reade’s complicated and chaotic story: She has not had an easy life. Her father abused her mentally and physically, she told her ex-husband, a man whom she would later leave to abuse her as well.

After landing a low-level job with then-Sen. Joe Biden in 1992, Reade says he was once again the victim of a sexual assault by Biden in a hallway, which he claims Biden rejects.

Reade made his complaint in March and once again put on the table how difficult it is to evaluate this type of statement in the #MeToo (#Yo Also) era. He also exposed his story for all to see. Some who know her describe her as a hypocrite and a liar, while others consider her a heroic survivor.

There are no witnesses or a police report of the alleged abuse, so it all depends on your credibility.

This account is based on interviews with more than a dozen friends, relatives, and former colleagues, interviews with Reade, and an extensive review of Reade’s legal documents, emails, and other writings.

“I am not a liar or manipulative,” Reade said Wednesday in an interview with the Associated Press. “I know what it is to be poor and fight life. I tried to help others as much as possible. Especially animals. “

Reade, 56, whose original name is Tara Moulton, was born in Monterey, California, but says she spent most of her childhood in Wisconsin, until her parents divorced when she was a teenager.

She went to California at age 17 determined to be an actress. She tried to be accepted into a show at New York’s exclusive Julliard School of Acting and was devastated when her father refused to pay tuition.

There are not many public traces of the following years in Reade’s life.

He says he studied at Pasadena City College before getting an internship with Representative Leon Panetta. His ambition was to work for Biden.

Stacey Ertel, who worked in another Senate office, said they ate together, went shopping, or went to a baseball game. Another friend, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect her family’s privacy, described her as a carefree Californian.

Over the years Reade spoke favorably of his experience working for Biden.

Margie Estberg of Monterey Bay, California says she got to know Reade after hiring her in late 2017 to take care of her dog. During a dinner in 2018, Estberg asked Reade what Biden was like and if he was “one of the bad guys.”

“I said, ‘Is he a good guy?’ And she said, ‘Yes, he is,'” Estberg says.

But the friend who asked not to be identified said that Reade told her a very different story in 1993. She said that she was once asked to bring Biden a gym bag to her Senate office and that he kissed and penetrated her. with the fingers.

The woman, who has spoken to the press since Reade released her complaint in 2019, initially only confirmed what little Reade had said. When Reade said in March that she had been sexually assaulted, the friend expanded her story.

Reade claims that he tried to file a complaint at the time but suffered retaliation. That they advised him to find another job.

That same spring, he met Ted Dronen, another Senate employee, and went with him to North Dakota, where he was campaigning, according to legal documents.

They married in 1994 and had a daughter. Two years later she said that her husband had assaulted her and obtained a protection order, by which he could not approach her.

He left Dronen and went to Washington state. The last two decades of his life were tumultuous.

His resume says that he completed the basic university cycle at Antioch University and then taught on the campus of that educational center in Seattle. But center employees say she did not complete her studies there and never taught. Reade insists that he did both.

She was admitted to Seattle University School of Law through an alternative admissions program and graduated in 2004, but had a hard time getting a steady job. His history of abuse generated people’s solidarity, but he was having trouble meeting his financial obligations.

By March 2006, she was back in California, working with the victim assistance division of the Monterey County Christian Young Women’s Association, where she made several complaints of harassment and discrimination by her bosses within a few months of taking the job.

In 2008, he met Austin Chung, who rented a cabin for him. She had told him that she was escaping abusive relationships and that she did not have a banking history, but a law degree and a job.

At five months she was already behind on the rent. He lost his job and Chung began an eviction process when the debt reached $ 3,600.

The following years were marked by financial and legal problems.

–In 2001, her partner was charged with physical assault during a fight involving Reade and her daughter, according to legal documents. She continued to live with him and cared for him when he suffered a stroke, according to legal documents.

–In 2012 Reade was evicted again for not paying the rent. He filed for bankruptcy and said he had debts of $ 406,407.

–In 2014 she volunteered at a non-profit stable called Pregnant Mare Rescue. She excelled at caring for battered horses, but “she always had crazy stories in her private life,” according to Lynn Hummer, the organization’s founder.

The two quarreled in 2016 after Reade charged him $ 1,400 to care for the horses, according to bills.

Reade says his decision to go public with his Biden complaint has caused him more trouble. But that, after a life fighting against adversity, now he feels stronger.

“It has complicated my life in many ways, but I do it more than anything for existential reasons,” he said. “I feel liberated from this burden, from this secret that I carried with me.”