UPDATE: Yet another woman has come forward to accuse former President George H.W. Bush of sexual misconduct.
British-born novelist Christina Baker Kline is accusing the ex-president of groping her, BBC News reports. She alleges that he "squeezed my butt hard" while taking a photo back in April 2014.
Adding insult to injury, Kline said her husband was standing on the other side of Bush when he touched her inappropriately but was unaware of the grab until she told him about it when they left. To sexually assault a woman with her husband right next to you takes disrespect to new heights.
A female friend of the Bush family reportedly told Kline after the incident to be "discreet" about it.
"The people around President Bush are accustomed to doing damage control," Kline said. "There must be many of us, I remember thinking. And now I know there are."
As women continue to come forward, Bush's excuse centered around being confined to a wheelchair and his arm falling "on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures,” seems more and more like a poor attempt to excuse very deliberate, invasive, and perverse actions.
UPDATE: Sexual misconduct allegations against former President George H.W. Bush seem to be growing by day.
Days after actress Heather Lind accused the 93-year-old of sexual assault in a now-deleted Instagram post, another actress also shared a rather similarly upsetting experience.
Jordana Grolnick, who was performing in a Maine production of Hunchback of Notre Dame in August 2016, said Bush, and former first lady Barbara Bush, came to see the show and visited the cast backstage. That is when Grolnick and her cast mates gathered around the former president for a photo op.
“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 recalled how others in the room “laughed politely and out of discomfort” — including Barbara Bush, who “said something along the lines of, ‘He’s going to get himself put into jail!’ to which we laughed harder.”
Meanwhile, Bush’s spokesperson Jim McGrath issued a statement about Lind’s allegation.
“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,” he told CNN. “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.”
Talk about the worst ever apology, ever.
Actress Heather Lind, now 34, claims she was 'sexually assaulted' by GHWB during this photo for AMC's 'Turn: Washington's Spies' pic.twitter.com/x0K4MPNMxc— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) October 25, 2017
Actress Heather Lind, who starred in AMC’s series “Turn: Washington Spies,” has accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping her during a promotional event for the TV show in 2014.
In a long, now-deleted, Instagram post, the 34-year-old said she was sexually assaulted during a photo call a few years ago.
“When I got the chance to meet George H. W. 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 recalled.
Lind said the former president did not shake her hand but instead touched her “from behind from his wheelchair.” He also allegedly told her a dirty joke, while his wife Barbara Bush looked on.
She said the incident also happened a second time.
“And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again,’” Lind added, saying his security guard later told her she shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo.
A representative for the now-93-year-old Bush said Lind may have misunderstood the former president’s “attempt at humor.”
“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,” the statement said.
Why is it that every male in power thinks sexual assault is a joke?
The actress received a lot of notice for her #MeToo post, but not all people were supportive of her.
“Why didn't you say this four years ago instead of now?” one internet user asked, according to the Daily Mail.
What’s wrong with people that they harass victims about not speaking up immediately after a traumatic incident — as if that’ s such an easy thing for a vulnerable woman to come forward against a powerful tormenter.
Meanwhile, others questioned whether being touched from behind amounts to sexual assault. To answer those people: yes, it does.
According to RAINN, sexual assault refers to “sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim.” It includes attempted rape, forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body, penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape and yes, fondling or unwanted sexual touching.
Still, there are others who believe Lind is lying.
Heather Lind Jumps on the wagon , she was sexually assaulted by George HW Bush, Im sorry this is ridiculous— Kitty (@Theresa87875060) October 24, 2017
This amounts to victim blaming as well and is one of the many reasons victims are afraid to come forward and report these sexual attacks.
Also, Lind’s account falls in line with Bush’s statement in which he apologized to her and inadvertently admitted his guilt.
Lind’s admission came after she saw the photo of President Barack Obama shaking hands with George H. W. Bush during an event to raise money for hurricane relief efforts.
“I was disturbed today by a photo I saw of President Barack Obama shaking hands with George H. W. Bush in a gathering of ex-presidents organizing aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes,” Lind wrote. “I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. And I feel pride and reverence towards many of the men in the photo.”
She ended her social media post with “And I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George H. W. Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him. #metoo.”
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters/ Stringer