Evelyn Yang shares that she was sexually assaulted by doctor

Greg Nash

Evelyn Yang, the wife of Democratic presidential contender Andrew Yang, told CNN in an interview on Thursday that she was sexually assaulted by her gynecologist while she was pregnant with her first child. 

“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,” Yang told CNN’s Dana Bash. 

Yang accused Columbia University Dr. Robert Hadden of assaulting her in 2012 during her first pregnancy. 

She said Hadden’s behavior started with inappropriate questions unrelated to her health

“The examinations became longer, more frequent, and I learned that they were unnecessary,” Yang said. “Most women don’t know what you’re supposed to get when you’re pregnant. I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to get an exam every time you see the doctor.” 

Yang said she didn’t initially tell her husband, but told him after she discovered Hadden had been reported for sexual assault by another patient. 

“I feel like I put up with some inappropriate behavior that I didn’t know at the time was straight-up sexual abuse slash sexual assault until much later,” she said. 

Andrew Yang said in a statement to CNN that he is heartbroken whenever he thinks about what his wife had to go through. 

“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,” he said. “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.”

Andrew and Evelyn Yang both have degrees from Columbia University. 

Yang’s lawyer discovered that the Manhattan district attorney’s office had an open case against Hadden, and that numerous other women accused him of sexual assault while they were pregnant. 

Hadden was arrested in 2012 after a patient told authorities he licked her vagina during an exam, but the arrest was voided and he returned to work. The incident took place weeks before Yang’s alleged assault took place. 

The doctor reached a plea deal with the office in 2016, in which he pleaded guilty to one count of forcible touching and another count of third-degree sexual assault. He was not put in jail, but lost his medical license and registered as a sex offender. 

“It’s like getting slapped in the face and punched in the gut. The DA’s office is meant to protect us, is meant to serve justice, and there was no justice here,” Yang said. 

Thirty-two women, including Yang, have sued Columbia University, saying the institution “actively concealed, conspired, and enabled” Hadden’s actions and behavior. 

Columbia University told CNN that they “deeply apologize to those whose trust was violated,” and referred to Hadden’s actions as “abhorrent.” 


Tags Andrew Yang Andrew Yang Dana Bash Evelyn Yang

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