Huma Abedin Says She Was Sexually Assaulted by a U.S. Senator but 'Buried the Incident' for Years

Hillary Clinton's longtime aide writes in her upcoming memoir about how the unnamed lawmaker forced himself on her, "pushing his tongue into my mouth ... I was so utterly shocked"

Huma Abedin
Photo: Arturo Holmes/MG21/Getty

In Huma Abedin's upcoming memoir, the longtime aide and friend of Hillary Clinton reveals that she was sexually assaulted by an unnamed U.S. senator.

Abedin writes about the incident in a section of Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds that describes her work between 2001 and 2009, when Clinton represented New York in the Senate, according to The Guardian, which obtained a copy of the book ahead of its Nov. 2 release.

Though Abedin shares no additional identifying info about the senator whom she says attacked her, details of the incident follow a passage about Abedin attending Donald and Melania Trump's Palm Beach, Florida, wedding in January 2005.

Abedin writes that after joining "a few senators and their aides" at a dinner back in Washington, D.C., she "ended up walking out with one of the senators, and soon we stopped in front of his building and he invited me in for coffee," according to the passage in The Guardian. "Once inside, he told me to make myself comfortable on the couch."

The senator took off his blazer, rolled up his sleeves and made coffee while he and Abedin continued to talk, she reportedly writes.

"Then, in an instant, it all changed. He plopped down to my right, put his left arm around my shoulder, and kissed me, pushing his tongue into my mouth, pressing me back on the sofa," Abedin writes. "I was so utterly shocked, I pushed him away. All I wanted was for the last 10 seconds to be erased."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) receives a note from her aide Huma Abedin (L) as she testifies about the State Department's FY2012 budget during a hearing of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on March 10, 2011 in Washington, DC
Huma Abedin (left) and Sec. Hillary Clinton. Jonathan Ernst/Getty

According to The Guardian, Abedin writes that the senator seemed surprised by her reaction to his unwanted advances and said he "misread" her.

"Then I said something only the twentysomething version of me would have come up with – 'I am so sorry' – and walked out, trying to appear as nonchalant as possible," she writes.

Abedin avoided the senator for a few days but soon ran into him on Capitol Hill, she writes. When he asked if they were still friends, she nodded before Clinton came to her side "as if she knew I needed rescuing even though I'd told her nothing about that night."

Though she and the unnamed senator remained friendly, Abedin writes, she "buried the incident" — erasing it "entirely" from her memory until 2018.

Huma Abedin - Both/And: A Life In Many Words
The cover of Huma Abedin's memoir. Simon and Schuster

It was Christine Blasey Ford's testimony during the Senate confirmation hearings for Trump-nominated Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that brought the memory back, Abedin writes.

In her testimony, Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault in the 1980s but said she suppressed memories of the incident for years. Kavanaugh, who denied the alleged assault ever happened, was confirmed by the Senate in October 2018.

Abedin writes that Ford "being accused of 'conveniently' remembering" a sexual assault from her distant past brought back memories of what happened to her on the unnamed senator's couch.

In a preview of Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds published in Vogue this month, Abedin described her heartbreak and anger over the eruption of ex-husband Anthony Weiner's 2011 sexting scandal, its personal and political repercussions and how Clinton comforted her when Abedin's pregnancy was detailed in the press.

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