News

Video of Biden Hugging Eva Longoria at 'Flamin' Hot' Screening Goes Viral

The moment was captured prior to a White House screening of Eva Longoria's directorial debut film, "Flamin' Hot."

Published Jun 16, 2023

U.S. President Joe Biden hugs film director Eva Longoria during a screening of the film “Flamin’ Hot” at the White House on June 15, 2023. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Image Via Alex Wong/Getty Images

On the evening of June 15, 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden and the first lady, Jill Biden, welcomed a crowd at the White House to watch Eva Longoria's new film, "Flamin' Hot."

The event on the South Lawn received a lot of buzz on social media, though not necessarily for the movie itself. Users reposted videos of two moments that were recorded during remarks delivered prior to the screening, one that showed the president incorrectly claiming that he and Longoria met when he was 40 and she was 17, and another clip of Biden hugging Longoria.

We reached out to one of Longoria's agents to ask about the viral videos and will update this story if we receive a response.

In this story, we'll take a look at video from the event and previous interactions Biden had with Longoria. We'll also look to past reporting that sought to find out if "Flamin' Hot," a film about the creation of the Flamin' Hot Cheetos snack food, actually tells a true story.

'She Was 17. I Was 40.'

Prior to the screening of "Flamin' Hot," Joe Biden mentioned that the movie was Longoria's directorial debut, then said, "We've known each other a long time. She was 17. I was 40."

The remark about their ages drew laughs from the crowd. Multiple reports referred to the moment as being a joke, including articles from Newsweek, New York Post, Daily Mail, BizPac Review, and RadarOnline, just to name a few.

Biden was born on Nov. 20, 1942, and Longoria was born on March 15, 1975, an age difference of more than 32 years, not the 23 years that the president had mentioned in the apparent joke.

Biden Hugging Longoria

The first lady was the first person to speak at the event. Longoria spoke second. When Longoria finished her remarks, she and Joe Biden hugged. This was not the hug that ultimately went viral. During this first hug, Longoria appeared to thank him for the screening just after he had said something else to her. While the audio was somewhat difficult to make out, it sounded like Longoria possibly said to him, "I love you. Thank you for this. Thank you."

The moment can be seen and heard at the 8:10 mark in this YouTube video:

Minutes later, after Biden finished making his remarks, he walked over to Longoria and gave her another hug. Following the remark about their ages, this was the second moment that drew scrutiny on social media.

For this second hug, Biden extended his arms and the pair embraced. They appeared to exchange messages of thanks, then parted.

Quite a few social media users claimed that Biden had touched Longoria inappropriately, with some users even mentioning sexual assault and groping. The allegations made by these users appeared to be that Biden's fingers may have touched the side of Longoria's breasts.

Some of the tweets also recalled past moments when Biden was said to have gotten too close to women and children.

We previously reported on several of these rumors that claimed Biden had interacted with women and children in inappropriate ways.

Longoria's History with Biden

In the years prior to the screening of her film, Longoria endorsed Biden ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Six years before Biden won his first term in the White House, on Nov. 1, 2014, Longoria joined the then-vice president at a Las Vegas rally to urge Nevada voters to support state lieutenant governor candidate Lucy Flores.

Two pictures were captured on the day of the rally that were later scrutinized online much in the same way that the video of the pair's hug in June 2023 was examined:

Five years later, in March 2019, just as Biden was gearing up for his run for the White House, Flores recounted an interaction she had with Biden during the same 2014 rally.

On March 29, 2019, NPR reported that Flores wrote "about her 'awkward' experience with Biden" from 2014, "saying he grabbed her shoulders from behind, sniffed her hair and then planted a kiss on the back of her head before a campaign event."

Days later, in a video that was posted to Twitter, Biden spoke generally about the way he had embraced people he interacted with, saying that, in the future, he would be "more mindful and more respectful of people's personal space."

Is 'Flamin' Hot' a True Story?

As for Longoria's film that was being screened at the White House, "Flamin' Hot," the movie tells the purported origin story of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, a product that was said to have been created by a man named Richard Montañez, a Mexican American janitor who worked at Frito-Lay.

In 2021, The Los Angeles Times published reporting that called into question the story that had been promoted by Montañez, citing interviews with more than a dozen former Frito-Lay employees, archival records, and Frito-Lay itself:

"None of our records show that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin' Hot test market," Frito-Lay wrote in a statement to The Times, in response to questions about an internal investigation whose existence has not been previously disclosed. "We have interviewed multiple personnel who were involved in the test market, and all of them indicate that Richard was not involved in any capacity in the test market.

"That doesn't mean we don't celebrate Richard," the statement continued, "but the facts do not support the urban legend."

Sources

Beaumont, Thomas. "Biden: I'll Be More Mindful of Respecting Personal Space." The Associated Press, 3 Apr. 2019, https://apnews.com/article/nv-state-wire-north-america-joe-biden-ap-top-news-politics-eaffff899cfa4081a330930786dba7c9.

Beaumont, Thomas, and Stephen Braun. "Biden Team Blasts 'trolls' amid Scrutiny over Behavior." The Associated Press, 1 Apr. 2019, https://apnews.com/article/nv-state-wire-north-america-joe-biden-ap-top-news-connecticut-a2a11e7e88fb42738773321a1485d2c0.

"Biden, Eva Longoria Host White House Screening Of 'Flamin' Hot'." YouTube, Forbes Breaking News, 15 June 2023, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzIWLUvQYJ0.

Dean, Sam. "The Man Who Didn't Invent Flamin' Hot Cheetos." The Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2021, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-05-16/flamin-hot-cheetos-richard-montanez.

"Flamin' Hot." IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8105234/.

Flores, Lucy. "An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden." Intelligencer, 29 Mar. 2019, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/an-awkward-kiss-changed-how-i-saw-joe-biden.html.

Mikkelson, David. "Is This Joe Biden Kissing a Young Girl?" Snopes, 10 June 2020, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/biden-kissing-girl/.

Mucha, Sarah. "Eva Longoria, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington and Julia Louis-Dreyfus Announced as Democratic Convention Emcees | CNN Politics." CNN, 17 Aug. 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/17/politics/eva-longoria-tracee-ellis-ross-kerry-washington-julia-louis-dreyfus-democratic-convention/index.html.

Pace, Julie, and Thomas Beaumont. "Biden Faces New Scrutiny from Dems over Behavior with Women." The Associated Press, 20 Apr. 2021, https://apnews.com/article/north-america-joe-biden-ap-top-news-nevada-campaigns-58cfe094174b4f3abd6ef66c90cbb004.

"President Biden Hosts Screening of 'Flamin' Hot.'" C-SPAN.org, 15 June 2023, https://www.c-span.org/video/?528784-1/president-biden-hosts-screening-flamin-hot.

Ritter, Ken. "Biden, Longoria Urge Nevada Democrats to Vote." KSL.com via The Associated Press, 1 Nov. 2014, https://www.ksl.com/article/32178617/biden-longoria-urge-nevada-democrats-to-vote.

Superville, Darlene. "Bidens and Eva Longoria Screen 'Flamin' Hot' Movie about the Origins of the Spicy Cheetos Snack." The Associated Press, 16 June 2023, https://apnews.com/article/biden-cheetos-flamin-hot-movie-janitor-fritolay-49cdcaf057aea696ec735c48641bff5e.

Taylor, Jessica. "Former Nevada Candidate Accuses Biden Of Unwanted Touching, Which He Doesn't 'Recall.'" NPR, 29 Mar. 2019. NPR, https://www.npr.org/2019/03/29/708232869/former-nevada-candidate-accuses-biden-of-unwanted-touching-which-he-doesnt-recal.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.