President Biden lauded the character of former Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., on Friday by likening him to someone who treats waitstaff well, despite allegations that Dodd was part of the alleged sexual assault of a waitress in 1985.
Speaking at the dedication of the Dodd Center for Human Rights at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Biden honored his former Senate colleague, who represented Connecticut from 1981 to 2011.
Claiming “he saw up close” how Dodd “fought for human rights and human dignity in the Senate,” Biden said he measures a person’s character based on how they treat waitstaff.
“People who tell me they care about people and then disrespect the waitress or a waiter. People who tell me they care about how, in fact, people are entitled to be treated with dignity and walk by someone at a shoe side stand and doesn’t say hello,” Biden said. “People who do not do just simply decent things for ordinary people. That’s the real measure.”
“I’ve never seen Chris, figuratively speaking, walk by anybody,” he added.
According to a 1990 profile of Ted Kennedy in GQ, a drunken Dodd allegedly joined the late Massachusetts senator in sexually assaulting Carla Gaviglio, who was a waitress at the now-shuttered La Brasserie restaurant on Capitol Hill.
“As Gaviglio enters the room, the six-foot-two, 225-plus-pound Kennedy grabs the five-foot-three, 103-pound waitress and throws her on the table,” GQ recounted. “She lands on her back, scattering crystal, plates and cutlery and the lit candles. Several glasses and a crystal candlestick are broken.”
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“Kennedy then picks her up from the table and throws her on Dodd, who is sprawled in a chair,” the magazine continued. “With Gaviglio on Dodd’s lap, Kennedy jumps on top and begins rubbing his genital area against hers, supporting his weight on the arms of the chair.
GQ said Gaviglio ran from the room “bruised, shaken and angry over what she considered a sexual assault.” The owner of La Brasserie corroborated Gaviglio’s account at the time, as did another waitress and two busboys.