George H.W. Bush was forced to apologise for a second hour after another actress said he sexually assaulted her at a photo op.
Jordana Grolnick told Deadspin that the incident happened in August 2016, while she was working at a Maine production of Hunchback of Notre Dame and the crew gathered for a scene with the visiting former chairperson:
“We all circled around him and Barbara[ Bush] for a photograph, 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 different groups,’ 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 added the others in the room “laughed politely and out of discomfort” while Barbara reportedly said: “He’s going to get himself put into jail! ’ to which we giggled harder.”
Earlier this week, another actress, Heather Lind, wrote in a( now deleted) Instagram post that she was “disturbed today by a photo I understood of President obama shaking hands with George H. W. Bush in a gathering of ex-presidents organising aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes.”
Lind, who played Anna Strong in AMC’s Turn: Washington Spies , said Bush “sexually assaulted her” in a similar fashion.
“He didn’t shake my hands. 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.”
As Deadspin points out, in 2014 two people on Twitter made a reference to the “David Cop-a-Feel” joke.
Now, other people came out on Twitter to confirm this account:
Bush Senior’s spokesman Jim McGrath initially issued a short statement of apology:
“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally induce anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”
But afterward a more detailed statement was released:
“At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of the persons with whom he takes videos, ” the statement reads. “To to continue efforts to threw people at ease, the president routinely tells the same gag — and on occasion, he has patted women’s backsides in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have realized it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”