Tara Reade: ‘He told me to remove my swimsuit, I complied because he was a policeman. I was only 13 and scared frozen’

America’s rape culture has been thriving for years, as the broken and corrupt system that is supposed to provide justice to victims protects predators. I was very young when I learned that sometimes, monsters have badges.

My parents divorced when I was just 13 years old and I was sent to live with my father in an upscale community in Minnesota.

My only freedom that summer, when I stayed with him, was to walk to the 7-11 convenience store with my friends after swimming. It was a sterile, safe, suburban neighborhood with regular police patrols. 

One day, I was walking to the store alone. A police car slowed down and the officer rolled down his window to talk with me. “Hey,” he said firmly, “have you seen a blue Mustang come through here?” I shook my head and felt nervous. He stopped and said, “Get in.” 


I got in the back and he drove me around to a secluded part of the park, saying nothing. At the park, I felt the muggy heat relieved by his air-conditioning. I smelled like chlorine and sunblock from the pool. I held my Dr. Pepper smacker's lip gloss and turned it in my hand. He said flatly, looking over his sunglasses: “Get in the front seat. I need you to answer some questions.” 

His radio burst into static, then it went quiet. He pushed some dials and said, “You look like the accomplice to a stolen car.

I felt tears coming. “I don’t even drive,” I answered illogically. 

He said: “It will be OK, just a couple questions, then I will take you home.

I sat quietly as he radioed in something and a code. Then he turned and put his hand down his own pants. He stared at me and asked me to raise my sundress up. I had my swimsuit on and he asked me to remove it. I complied because he was a policeman, and you do what they say. He then stared between my legs not touching me, just himself. This went on for several minutes.

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I felt dizzy and scared frozen with my legs apart. He directed me to spread my legs further and arch up. I did everything he asked. My legs shook with fear. “Yes, like that,” he said while continuing to stare.

He did not touch me and continued to breathe hard with his hand working inside his pants. He stopped abruptly.

Go in the back seat,” he said. I put my swimsuit on awkwardly and he unlocked the door. I got out and climbed into the back seat, numb with fear. He drove silently to the 7-11 with only his radio static with voices. At 7-11, he let me out, went into the shop, and bought me a red frozen Slurpee coke soda. 

I walked home shakily, trying to understand what happened. I threw out the drink and never had a Slurpee again.

At this point, I was not developed and still a stranger to many interactions with boys except holding hands and a feverish dare kiss on the playground. This was confusing and strange. He was a man. I had only heard about sex in a vague way. I told no one.

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The next day at the neighborhood pool, an older girl came up to me who usually never spoke to me. “You OK?” she asked. I sat with my Archie comic book and my soda under the umbrella, swatting gnats.

Yes,” I replied. 

I saw him take you. Stay away from him, OK? He is a creep,” she told me.

I nodded, knowing who she meant. She seemed way older even though she was just 15. She gave me a Pez candy and sat down next to me. I felt elated because an older girl was talking to me. We stared at the boys doing cannonballs in the pool. 

I just pretended it was a…” she trailed off and ended abruptly. She took an angry sip of her drink. I looked at her, nodding but not understanding. She showed me her Seventeen magazine and said she was going to her first concert. 

I don’t know what happened to her with the police officer. The following fall, after leaving for my mother’s house, I heard from friends that the cop who gave young girls rides to the park and then bought them frozen Slurpees was no longer there. 

That summer, I learned that sometimes monsters have badges.


It takes warriors to expose monsters 

In America, the monsters roam freely and wield power. I learned that young but still with the naive belief that there were systems to protect us. I was wrong: the systems were in place to protect those monsters.

Last week, several truths came out. 

Actress and activist Rose McGowan shook up the recall election by accusing the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom of trying to bribe her – on behalf of Weinstein’s lawyer, David Boies – not to go public with sexual abuse accusations against Weinstein. 

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David Boies is no joke. He is known to be a ruthless, pitbull attorney. 

Like attorney Alan Dershowitz, who went after Epstein victims to smear them, Boies went after Weinstein victims to destroy them, in particular Rose McGowan. As Ronan Farrow revealed in his book ‘Catch and Kill’, he even employed former Israeli Mossad spies. 

Who was so desperate for silence around the Weinstein movie mogul besides his lawyer? The Clintons and other powerful Democrats. Rose McGowan is fighting back and suing David Boies and Black Cube (the Israeli surveillance firm) in federal court under the RICO Act.

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David Boies has his dirty tentacles in a lot of pies, including now representing several alleged Epstein victims. It is almost comic-book-level villainy to imagine that the lawyer who worked with Weinstein is now representing the Epstein human trafficking victims. David Boies was not only Weinstein’s lawyer but his friend, and he has many political friends now under scrutiny.

The bullying between the Epstein survivors online has reached such a fevered pitch that it creates an environment where possible victims are silenced.

By representing them, Boies has a perfect opportunity for witness tampering and, possibly, silencing any links to the political power. We will most likely never know the truth as the elite circle their powerful wagons to silence their ugly illegal behavior.

The American narrative is so steeped in propaganda that no one knows who the good guys are anymore.

Earlier this week, Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and three other gymnasts testified before the Senate about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of the disgraced former team doctor, Larry Nassar, and about the FBI not only failing them but retraumatizing them. America’s federal law protection abandoned children from sexual predators and allowed more to get abused. 

They allowed a child molester to go free for more than a year and this inaction directly allowed Nassar’s abuse to continue,” Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney told the Senate. “What is the point of reporting abuse if our own FBI agents are going to take it upon themselves to bury that report in a drawer?


Maroney came forward to the FBI in 2015 and they ignored it. As a result, dozens of other children were abused. 

All we needed was one adult to do the right thing,” said another survivor, gymnast Aly Raisman. 

These young women who were children when sexually assaulted had a trusting relationship with a physician who violated them, and they then went to law enforcement for help only to be denied. Both authority figures violated their trust and colluded to silence them rather than hold Nassar accountable for his crimes.

It took their collective voice and determination to be heard and to stop the abuse.

The fake shock by the Senate and hypocritical statements about the gymnasts’ harrowing ordeal and purposeful botching by the FBI is noted by American citizens. 

It is no wonder that public trust is at an all-time low. The crushing American system failure for sexual assault survivors is due to the fact that we rely on broken, corrupt institutions like the FBI, like the Congress, to provide justice that in the end only protects the predators. 

This is rape culture in America, and it thrives in shame, fear, and silence. It will take warriors like Rose McGowan, the other Weinstein survivors, the Epstein survivors, the Nassar crimes survivors, the Cuomo survivors, and myself to expose these monsters one by one, and those who are complicit around them.

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