Yes, the 'Aqua Buddha' saga continues to, um, bubble.
The Washington Post's Greg Sargent caught up with the woman who anonymously accused Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul of 'kidnapping' her and forcing her to smoke marijuana while they were both students at Baylor University. The woman, who remains unnamed in the piece, said that the incident has been "blown out of proportion" and that she was "hazed" by Paul and a friend but not "forced" to do anything. From Sargent:
The woman -- who was made available to me for an interview by GQ reporter Jason Zengerle in response to the Paul campaign's denunciations of his article -- said she didn't mean to imply that she was kidnapped "in a legal sense."
"The whole thing has been blown out of proportion," she told me. "They didn't force me, they didn't make me. They were creating this drama: `We're messing with you.'"
The woman said that much of the subsequent coverage of her allegations missed a key nuance: As a participant in a college ritual, where lines between acquiescence and victimization are often blurry, she was largely playing along with the notion that she was being forced to follow Paul's orders.
"I went along because they were my friends," she said. "There was an implicit degree of cooperation in the whole thing. I felt like I was being hazed."
Yesterday, Paul disputed the woman's account on FOX News. "I absolutely deny kidnapping anyone, ever," he said. He did not elaborate on the veracity of the GQ's story's claim that he and a friend had been smoking pot and urged the woman to worship 'Aqua Buddha.'
"I'm not really going to try to go back 27 years to remember everything I did in college," Paul said yesterday.