George HW Bush accused by second woman of sexual assault from his wheelchair

  26 October 2017    Read: 727
George HW Bush accused by second woman of sexual assault from his wheelchair
Former US President George HW Bush has been accused by a second woman of sexual assault from his wheelchair, reports citing the Independent.
The 93-year-old was forced to apologise on Wednesday after Heather Lind, who starred in US drama Turn: Washington’s Spies, alleged he had touched her “from behind” during a 2014 photo opportunity.

Now a second actor, Jordana Grolnick, has accused Mr Bush of a similar assault in August 2016, reports Deadspin.

Ms Grolnick said the former president came backstage at a theatre in Maine during an intermission of a production she was starring in.

When the cast gathered around to have a photo taken with him, the actor alleges the President’s hand reached around behind her.

“As we smiled for the photo he asked the group, ‘Do you want to know who my favourite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’” she said.

Ms Grolnick said people in the room “laughed politely and out of discomfort”, before former First Lady Barbara Bush, who was also in the room, “said something along the lines of, ‘He’s going to get himself put into jail!’ to which we laughed harder”.

The actor said she was warned by others beforehand of Mr Bush’s alleged reputation for groping during photo ops.

Ms Grolnick later posted the group photo on Instagram.

Jim McGrath, a spokesman for President Bush, said: “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.”

Ms Lind alleged a similar incident back in 2014 in a now deleted Instagram post.

“When I got the chance to meet George HW Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo,” she wrote.

“He didn't shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again.

“Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again.’ His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo.”

Kevin McNally, a co-star on Turn: Washington Spies who was pictured next to Ms Lind during the alleged groping, has spoken out to support her claims.

“My full support for @heatherglind for speaking out about the horrible event in Houston. All of which is true,” the Pirates of the Caribbean star said on Twitter.

Alexander Rose, author of the book Washington Spies, also added his support on the social network.

Responding to the allegations, a spokesperson for President Bush said: “President Bush would never – under any circumstance – intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologises if his attempt at humour offended Ms Lind.”

Ms Lind said she had decided to speak out about the alleged sexual assault following the “bravery” of other women in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

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