Former president George H.W. Bush has issued a statement saying he would never “intentionally cause anyone distress,” following actress Heather Lind’s accusation that she was inappropriately touched by him.
Lind, an actress on the AMC Series TURN: Washington’s Spies, accused the former leader of touching her from behind and telling her a “dirty joke,” while she was posing for a photo beside him in 2014.
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The 93-year-old’s spokesman responded to the allegations in a statement to the Associated Press.
“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”
She revealed the alleged incident in an Instagram post on Tuesday, which has since been deleted from the social media platform, but is still available online.
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“I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served,” she wrote in the post.
“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.”
She added that the former leader’s wife, Barbara Bush, was standing with him and rolled her eyes.
The actress, who used the hashtag #Metoo in her post, said that she was sharing her story to “enact positive change.”
Lind’s story comes amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, which has brought to light how common sexual assault is in the film industry.
The film producer has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by at least 52 women.
— With a file from the Associated Press