George HW Bush ‘Patted Women’s Rears’, His Office Says Amid Sexual Assault Allegations
Former President George H.W. Bush has apologized for an “attempt at humor” following accusations of sexual assault from actresses Heather Lind and Jordana Grolnick.
Bush, 93, responded Wednesday evening to the claim from Lind and apologized through a statement from his office. The response notes that the ex-president's actions were carried out with the most innocent of intentions, to make a joke.
“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,” the statement read. “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,” Bush’s office’s statement read. “To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”
The statement from Bush does not specifically say what the joke he made was, and Lind did not comment on it either.
The website Deadspin claims that rumors surrounding the Lind incident have been circulating for a year, as an unnamed tipster had previously told the publication that the 41st US President fondled the actress, while telling her his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-Feel.”
Lind had previously accused the aging ex-president of touching her behind on a now-deleted Instagram post during a photoshoot while promoting the AMC show, “Turn: Washington's Spies,” four years ago the Daily Mail reported. Former First Lady Barbara Bush was standing alongside the two at the time.
The actress posted her allegation after seeing a photo of a gathering Saturday of all five living former US presidents.
“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 organising aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes,” Lind said in the post. “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.”