US

Second Actress Accuses George H.W. Bush of Groping

By Holly Kellum

A second actress is accusing former president George H.W. Bush of inappropriately touching her while they were taking a photo together.

New York actress Jordana Grolnick says Bush grabbed her buttocks during a group photo last year at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine.

She told Deadspin that Bush told her his favorite magician is “David Cop-a-Feel” before he grabbed her.

She said his wife, Barbara Bush, responded with something along the lines of, “He’s going to get himself put into jail.”

The accusation comes days after AMC actress Heather Lind accused him of sexually assaulting her in a similar situation in 2014.

Lind said in a now-deleted Instagram post on Tuesday, Oct. 24, that the former president inappropriately touched her in a photo op during the 2014 screening of TV series “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” which she played a lead role in.

“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,” she wrote.

She said Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say “not again,” and a security guard for the former president later told her she shouldn’t have stood next to him.

On April 4, 2014, two other women wrote almost simultaneously on Twitter about the the “David Cop-a-Feel” joke, and included Bush Sr. as a hashtag.

Regarding the joke, Bush’s spokesperson said in a statement to Deadspin that it was Bush’s way of making light of his infirmity.

“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,” spokesman Jim McGrath 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.”

Bush also issued an apology to Lind, but stopped short of admitting what he did was sexual assault.

“President Bush would never—under any circumstance—intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”

Lind said the bravery of other women who have come forward with stories of sexual assault inspired her to tell her story.

“It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy.”

“He relinquished that power when he used it against me and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 
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