Former president George H.W. Bush has issued an apology to an actress who says he touched her inappropriately and told a “dirty joke” as they posed for a group photo four years ago.
Heather Lind made the accusation in a now-deleted Instagram post, saying Bush “touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side.”
In a statement via his spokesperson Jim McGrath, obtained by People, Bush said “President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”
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Lind alleges the incident occurred when she posed with Bush while promoting the AMC show Turn: Washington’s Spies. Lind, in the post, said she opted to come forward after seeing a photo of Bush and Obama shaking hands at a recent gathering of former presidents.
“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo. But 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,” Lind wrote. “He didn’t shake my hand. 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.”
The allegations come as several actresses have accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of assault in recent weeks.