A second woman lodged an accusation of sexual harassment against former President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday, but his spokesperson provided a statement in an attempt to clear up the accusations against the former president.
What is the woman claiming?
- Actress Heather Lind accused Bush of sexual harassment Tuesday, saying that he touched her inappropriately during a photo shoot and made a "dirty joke."
- A representative for the former president acknowledged the actress's allegations, but did not admit to any wrongdoing.
- Bush's first statement read, "President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind."
- Another actress, Jordana Grolnick, made similar allegations against Bush on Wednesday in an Instagram post and said, "I got sent the Heather Lind story by many people this morning. And I’m afraid that mine is entirely similar."
- Grolnick said that during the intermission of a 2016 theatrical performance of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" in Maine, the former president came backstage for photos.
- "We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him," she told Deadspin. "He reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, 'Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?' As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, 'David Cop-a-Feel!'"
She later added, "Now that the #MeToo movement has brought this all to light, I think I should have been a little more alarmed to be touched so inappropriately by a man who was once the leader of the free world. He knows the power he has, and the reverence he deserves, even while sitting perhaps somewhat senile in a wheelchair."
How did Bush's office respond?
Bush spokesman Jim McGrath issued the following statement:
At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.