TWO more women have come forward to accuse former President George H.W. Bush of groping them.
Author Christina Baker Kline said Bush made the same “David Cop-a-feel” joke others have mentioned before grabbing her buttocks in 2014 in Houston.
She said a Bush driver told her she hoped she would be “discreet.”
Amanda Staples, a former candidate for state Senate, told the Portland Press Herald in Maine that she was groped by Bush in 2006 in Kennebunkport.
The former president’s office says the 93-year-old Bush has “patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner.”
The statement says he apologises “to anyone he has offended.”
Staples wrote in an Instagram post: he “grabbed my butt and joked saying ‘Oh, I’m not THAT President,’ ” alongside a picture of her standing next to Bush.
“I can only imagine how many women have had their butt grabbed in a photo op,” she added in the post, noting that if she had a daughter “I’d never tell her to shrug it off because he was president.”
Earlier this week actress Heather Lind accused him of touching her from behind, and actress Jordana Grolnick came forward to reveal details of her alleged ordeal which took place backstage after she performed the Hunchback of Notre Dame in Maine.
Grolnick says she and her fellow actors gathered for a photo in August 2016, when he allegedly used his right hand to reach for her behind, Deadspin reported.
She claims other actors had told her before the photo, that Bush had a reputation for groping during photo opportunities. But she thought he couldn’t do “harm” since he was in a wheelchair.
Recalling her horror, she said: “We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him.
“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 favourite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’”
The actress said others had “laughed politely and out of discomfort”. But former First Lady Barba Bush allegedly said: “He’s going to get himself put into jail!”
Grolnick said she was compelled to come forward after Lind’s revelation, and she regrets not being a “little more alarmed” about his inappropriate behaviour.
Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesperson responded to her claims with the following statement: “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 apologises most sincerely.”
Brit actor Kevin McNally, who was pictured next to Lind in her photograph, came out to support her on Twitter.
He said: “My full support for @heatherglind for speaking out about the horrible event in Houston. All of which is true.”
He later tweeted: “… any actor like us does not seek fame. We know it’s horrible. They confuse us with reality stars.”
Lind used the hashtag #MeToo which has become a viral trend for people to share their allegations of sexual assault.
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