sexual harassment

Second Woman Accuses George H.W. Bush of Groping Her

President George H.W. Bush. Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

A second woman has come forward to accuse former president George H.W. Bush of groping her during a photo op. On Wednesday night, a day after actress Heather Lind shared a since-deleted Instagram post in which she claimed Bush “touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side,” the website Deadspin reported that a second actress, Jordana Grolnick, has a nearly identical story about Bush 41.

Grolnick told Deadspin the incident occurred in August 2016, when she was working on a production of Hunchback of Notre Dame near the president’s summer home in Kennebunkport. When the president came to watch a performance, the cast gathered around him for a group photo during intermission. Grolnick said other cast members warned her that Bush “had a reputation for fondling during photo ops,” but that she didn’t take them seriously. Via Deadspin:

“We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him,” she says. “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!’”

Grolnick says others in the room “laughed politely and out of discomfort.” Former first lady Barbara Bush was among those nearby. “[She] said something along the lines of, ‘He’s going to get himself put into jail!’ to which we laughed harder,” Grolnick says.

Earlier Wednesday evening, Bush’s spokesperson issued an apology, and acknowledged that the president has groped women in the past in an attempt to “put people at ease”:

“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.”

Read the full story here.

Second Woman Accuses George H.W. Bush of Groping Her