Evelyn Yang, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, said Thursday during a CNN interview that she was sexually assaulted by her gynecologist in 2012 while seven months pregnant.
While pregnant with her first child, Yang said she was at an appointment with her gynecologist, Dr. Robert Hadden, whom she had been with since the start of her pregnancy. At the end of this appointment, Hadden claimed she might need a C-Section and proceeded to undress her and “examine” her “internally, ungloved,” Yang said.
“I knew it was wrong. I knew I was being assaulted,” Yang said in her interview with CNN’s Dana Bash. “I just kind of froze like a deer in headlights, just frozen. I knew it was happening. I could feel it. I remember trying to fix my eyes on a spot on the wall and just trying to avoid seeing his face as he was assaulting me, just waiting for it to be over.”
Yang says she left Hadden’s practice and did not return and originally didn’t tell her husband. She said she didn’t want Andrew Yang to blame himself because he was traveling at the time and often unable to go to the appointments with her.
Months after her son Christopher’s birth, Yang said she got a letter in the mail notifying her that Hadden had left the practice. After doing a google search, she found another woman had accused Hadden of assault and told the police.
“And at that moment, everything just stood still. It was this sense of relief of finally realizing that I wasn’t alone in it,” according to Yang, who had reportedly blamed herself for the assault up until this moment. “It wasn’t something that I did. This was a serial predator and he just picked me as his prey.”
Yang told her husband, who cried and “felt terrible” for her, she said during the interview. (RELATED: Meet 2020 Candidate Andrew Yang And His Top 5 Campaign Points)
“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,” Andrew Yang said in a statement according to CNN. “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.”
Yang told Bash that reading letters from her husband’s supporters made her want to speak publicly about the assault. The moment came after reading a letter from a woman who decided to press sexual assault charges against someone involved in her company because of her husband.