George H.W. Bush accused of groping woman while in office


A woman on Thursday said President George H.W. Bush groped her during a photo-op in 1992, while he was still in office, becoming the latest in a string of women who have made similar accusations against him.

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The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN that she was in Dearborn, Michigan, attending a fundraiser for Bush’s re-election campaign when the president groped her buttocks.

“We got closer for a family photo and it was like, ‘Holy (expletive)!’” she told the news network. “It was like a gentle squeeze.”

At least eight other women have accused Bush of grabbing them during photo-ops, although Thursday’s accusation was the first alleged to have happened while the former president was in office.

"All the focus has been on 'He's old.' OK, but he wasn't old when it happened to me," the latest accuser told CNN. "I've been debating what to do about it."

The president apologized last month in a statement through his spokesman, Jim McGrath, after actress Heather Lind accused Bush of groping her during a 2014 photo-op in a since-deleted Instagram post.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush apologizes after actress Heather Lind accuses him of sexual assault

“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,” McGrath said. “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.”

Previous accusations

Lind, who plays Anna Strong in AMC’s “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” said the president told a dirty joke and grabbed her rear end while taking a photo. She said that first lady Barbara Bush saw her husband groping Lind and just rolled her eyes.

Shortly after Lind went public with her accusation, actress Jordana Grolnick told Deadspin that she was groped by Bush during a photo-op in August 2016.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush apologizes, says he 'patted women's rears' after 2nd groping allegation

“We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him,” Grolnick told Deadspin. “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 favorite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’”

Author Christina Baker Kline said Bush made a similar joke to her in 2014 when he groped her during a photo-op at a luncheon in Houston. She wrote about the incident in an article for Slate.

In a Facebook post, former journalist Liz Allen accused Bush of inappropriately touching her during a 2004 business event. She told the Erie Times-News that she wasn’t happy about the incident but that, “It did not rise to the level of assault … it was in my (personal) space.”

Former Republican state Senate candidate Amanda Staples said in an Instagram post that she was groped by Bush during a 2006 photo-op, the Portland Press Herald reported. She said Bush “grabbed my butt and joked saying, ‘Oh, I’m not THAT President.’”

Another woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN that Bush squeezed her rear “a couple times” during a 2015 event in Houston.

"It was unmistakable," she told the news network. "It was not just a pat. It was a serious squeeze."

Broadway actress Megan Elizabeth Lewis told NJ Advance Media this week that she was groped by Bush in 2009 while taking a photo at a performance of “Legally Blond: The Musical” in Houston.

“I was like, ‘wow,’” she told the news site. “I remember being really grossed out.”

Roslyn Corrigan told Time magazine that she was 16 years old when Bush, then 79, groped her in 2003 during an event in Texas.

“My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” Corrigan told Time. “The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t have touched me like that?’”

Bush, 93, served as president from 1989 to 1993. He was vice president under President Ronald Reagan before his election to the highest office in the nation, from 1981 to 1989.


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