Former President George H.W. Bush has been accused of groping another woman — this time, all the way back in 1992 while he was still in the White House.
When actress Heather Lind, who starred in AMC’s series “Turn: Washington Spies,” accused the former commander-in-chief of groping her during a promotional event for the TV show in 2014, the senior Bush’s office issued what could only be described as one of the worst apologies ever.
“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,” Bush’s spokesperson Jim McGrath wrote. “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.”
Well, little did the world know, Lind would turn out to be the first in a series of women accusing the ex-president of sexual misconduct.
So far, seven other women besides Lind have come forward with similar stories, claiming the former president groped them during photo ops, with allegations dating back to 2003. One of the women said she was 16 when Bush touched her inappropriately.
However, Bush’s old age and the fact he is wheelchair-bound may not work as an excuse for much longer, given his latest accuser has claimed he groped her while he was still in office.
“We got closer together for a family photo and it was like ‘Holy crap!’” the woman, who is now 55 and wanted to remain anonymous, told CNN. “It was like a gentle squeeze.”
The incident reportedly took place during the 1992 re-election campaign.
The woman, just like most sexual abuse victims, did not say anything at the time and proceeded to smile for the camera, thinking it was “probably an accident.” She said she later informed her ex-husband and her best friend about it.
“I remember her coming home and her saying (Bush) said (to her father), ‘Is that your daughter?’ or ‘Who's that with you?’ and her dad said, ‘It's my daughter,’ and he said, ‘Well, get her in the picture,’” the woman's ex-husband told the network. “She tried to write it off as ‘move in closer’ — but no, it wasn't. The hand definitely was across the butt. It wasn't across the waist.”
However, now, after seeing multiple women sharing stories similar to hers, the woman said she finally decided to break her silence for an important reason.
“All the focus has been on ‘He's old.’ OK, but he wasn't old when it happened to me,” she said. “I've been debating what to do about it.”
Following the sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and his subsequent fall from grace, women across the world are coming out to share their own harrowing experiences with sexual abuse.
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Stringer