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Tara Reade was not on ‘Dr. Phil’ talking about Putin in 2019

May 7, 2020 GMT

CLAIM: A woman who claimed to be in a relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a “Dr. Phil” episode in 2019 is Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden who has accused him of sexually assaulting her. 

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The woman who appeared on the “Dr. Phil” show was not Tara Reade despite posts online claiming otherwise. 

THE FACTS: After reports surfaced of Reade’s accusation against Biden, social media posts began falsely claiming Reade was Jennifer, a woman who appeared on the “Dr. Phil” show in 2019 and said she was romantically involved with Putin even though she had never met him. 

Reade has alleged that former Vice President Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago.

Social media users have shared clips of the “Dr. Phil” episode and side-by-side photos of Jennifer and Reade to try and make a connection based on a supposed resemblance between the two. (In the episode, Jennifer was identified by only her first name.)

“All guests are fully vetted and that is not Reade,” a “Dr. Phil” spokesperson said in an email to The Associated Press. 

Douglas Wigdor, a representative for Reade, also told The Associated Press in an email that the woman on the “Dr. Phil” show was not his client. 

On the “Dr. Phil” show, Jennifer’s children express concern over their mother’s mental health. 

“My mother thinks she is in a relationship with Vladimir Putin to the extent that she has become homeless, living in and out of motels,” Jennifer’s daughter says in the episode. “My mother says Putin is going to make her the queen of Russia to help run his country.”

Posts online that are critical of Reade have included clips from the “Dr. Phil” episode in an effort to cast doubt on her credibility. 

“I would LOVE to see Tara Reade testify under oath, but she never will,” one post said. “Why? She’s a KOOK. Here’s Tara Reade on Dr Phil!”

Reade has told the AP and several news organizations that Biden sexually assaulted her in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building in 1993. Biden has denied the allegations, saying that it “never happened.”


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: