Jan 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

CNN: Evelyn Yang discloses sexual assault, says campaign trail compelled her to go public

Evelyn Yang, former L'Oréal marketing executive and wife of 2020 Democratic candidate Andrew Yang, divulged in an interview released Thursday that she was sexually assaulted by her obstetrician-gynecologist in 2012 while seven months pregnant, per CNN.

Background: Yang's former OB-GYN, whom she identified as Robert Hadden, pleaded guilty to a felony count of a criminal sexual act in the third degree in 2016, per the New York Times, after being accused by 19 patients of sexual abuse. Yang was one of the women to testify against Hadden, per her CNN interview.

"Everyone has their own MeToo story. It's far too prevalent. ... But not everyone can tell their story. "
— Evelyn Yang in a CNN interview
  • "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."
  • "I feel like I put up with some inappropriate behavior that I didn't know at the time was straight-up sexual abuse/sexual assault until much later, and I regret having put up with that."
  • Yang told CNN that "her time on the campaign trail, speaking to women, compelled her to come forward."
  • "Something about being on the 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," she said.

The big picture: Hadden avoided prison time due to a plea deal with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, per the Times.

  • The majority of influential or powerful men who have been accused of sexual offenses since the #MeToo movement went viral in 2017 have not faced legal action for a variety of reasons — including settlements with accusers and cases dropped by prosecutors or dismissed in court.

Hadden's attorney declined CNN's request for an interview.

Go deeper: Global #MeToo movement has resulted in 6 convictions, 5 charges of influential figures

Go deeper