Actor and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano is standing by her endorsement of Joe Biden despite a recent sexual assault allegation against the former vice president and the criticism she received from former costars and other activists over her announcement.
In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Milano further expounded on why she is standing by Biden, saying that she believes she and others have thoroughly vetted the former vice president over the years.
"I still feel confident in endorsing Joe Biden," Milano told BuzzFeed News' Twitter show AM to DM. "And obviously a lot of other people do as well from Bernie Sanders to Elizabeth Warren to Barack Obama."
Milano reiterated her belief that men accused of sexual assault should be given due process.
"I don't go into these decisions ever lightly or without great thought and also research," said Milano. "I think when we get into this place of believing women, regardless of giving men due process, it actually does more harm to the movement than good."
In March, Tara Reade, a former Biden staffer, said in a podcast interview that Biden had sexually assaulted her in 1993 – an allegation that his campaign says is false.
Milano, who attended the Senate hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to "stand in solidarity" with one of his accusers, had initially been criticized for her silence on the Biden allegation.
But she said she had been taking time to try to investigate the validity of Reade's allegation.
She has said that she was reassured by the fact that the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, an organization that was established as a response to #MeToo movement to help support victims, would not fund a lawyer or PR representative for Reade. (The group did provide Reade with a list of attorneys for her to contact.)
Milano said that while we need to "start from the point of believing women," people should then "do your due diligence and research."
"It's a tricky situation," said Milano. "I would never want to smear any woman who comes forward with their story, but I just felt that in the investigating that I did, I'd made the right move and I'd be the first one to say, I didn't. Trust me."
Fellow #MeToo activist and former Charmed costar Rose McGowan is among those who have slammed Milano for her continued support of Biden.
Critics, including many Republicans who say that the #MeToo movement has mainly targeted their ilk, have accused Milano of hypocrisy, but the actor says that the fallout around the Biden allegation has illuminated some of the wider challenges facing the #MeToo movement moving forward.
"There's no perfect movement," she told BuzzFeed News. "Shit's going to get broken, mud's going to be slung, and all we can do is stay true to who we are and do the best job we can in investigating allegations."