Evelyn Yang Told CNN She Was Sexually Assaulted by Her OB/GYN
Evelyn Yang, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, spoke publicly for the first time about the alleged assault.
Evelyn Yang, who is married to Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, said during a CNN interview that she was sexually assaulted by her gynecologist while she was pregnant.
Evelyn told CNN on Thursday that Dr. Robert Hadden at Columbia University assaulted her in 2012, during her first pregnancy. Years later, she would become part of a group of women accusing Hadden of assault (Hadden has denied the allegations in a court document).
During Thursday’s interview with CNN, Evelyn said Hadden gradually became more inappropriate during her visits. She said Hadden started scheduling more appointments, and they tended to last longer. She said she questioned how necessary the appointments were but that she thought she “just [needed] to trust him.”
Then, she said Hadden assaulted her during one of her visits.
“I was in the exam room, and I was dressed and ready to go,” Evelyn recalled. “Then, at the last minute, he kind of made up an excuse … he proceeded to grab me over to him and undress me and examine me internally, ungloved.”
Evelyn went on to testify before a grand jury, which would indict Hadden on felony sex charges, but the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office reached a plea deal with him in 2016 — Hadden lost his medical license and was listed as a low-level sex offender, but would not see any jail time.
That same DA’s office, under Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., was criticized after one of its prosecutors tried to keep Jeffrey Epstein from having to register as a Level 3 sex offender, instead pushing for him to be Level 1. That office also did not initially prosecute disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein over groping charges. Weinstein is currently being tried in New York for rape and other sex crimes.
Now, Evelyn and 31 other women are suing Columbia University, saying it covered up Hadden’s alleged sexual exploitation dating back as far as 1992. Columbia and the hospital system have challenged the suit, according to CNN.
After the CNN interview, Andrew Yang posted on Instagram, saying, “my heart breaks every time I think of what she had to experience.”
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I’m extraordinarily proud of Evelyn for telling her story, and my heart breaks every time I think of what she had to experience. She is my best friend and the bravest woman I know. No one deserves to be harmed and treated the way she and countless other women have been. When victims of abuse come forward, they deserve our belief, support, and protection. I hope that Evelyn’s story gives strength to those who have suffered and sends a clear message that our institutions must do more to protect and respond to women.
Now — as Evelyn is in a more public role, she said she decided to tell her story of assault in hopes of helping others dealing with similar trauma. She said she hopes “to empower myself and to empower other women” by coming forward.
Since the interview aired on Thursday, Evelyn’s lawyer said he was contacted by six additional victims who allege they were also assaulted by Hadden.
“Something about being on the [campaign] trail and meeting people and seeing the difference that we've been making already has moved me to share my own story about it, about sexual assault,” Evelyn Yang told CNN. “But not everyone can tell their story. Not everyone has the audience or platform to tell their story, and I actually feel like I'm in this very privileged position to be able to do that."
If you or someone you know has been impacted by sexual assault, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline by phone at 1-800-656-4673 or online at online.rainn.org