Woman accuses former President George H.W. Bush of sexual assault, and he responded

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 15: Former President George H. W. Bush wears red stripped socks as he sits in a wheelchair during an event in the East Room at the White House, July 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Bush joined President Obama in hosting the event to honor the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award winner. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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George H.W. Bush issued an apology after an actress claimed he “sexually assaulted” her during a photo shoot four years ago.

In a since-deleted post on Instagram, Heather Lind claimed that the former president touched her inappropriately and told her a “dirty joke.”

Bush later issued an apology to Lind, according to PEOPLE.

“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,” Bush’s spokesperson Jim McGrath said in a statement.

Lind did not disclose details of when the alleged incident took place, though CNN reports it may have happened when Bush and his wife Barbara attended a 2014 private screening of AMC’s “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” in which Lind starred. In a photo circulating on Twitter, Lind is posed to the right of the former president with her castmates surrounding them. Lind has not confirmed if this is a photo from the alleged incident.

https://twitter.com/akpodee_b/status/923155398428954626

In the deleted Instagram post, CNN says, Lind shared a photo of former President Barack Obama shaking Bush’s hand at a recent event with former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter at a “Deep from the Heart: The One America Appeal Concert” on October 21. “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,” she wrote.

 

Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Ford Motor Company

 

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She continued:

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. Barbara [Bush] rolled her eyes as if to say “not again”. His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo. We were instructed to call him Mr. President. It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy.

She said that she now felt comfortable coming forward after several women told their own stories about alleged sexual harassment by movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

“I am grateful for the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences,” she reportedly wrote. “And I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George H. W. Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him. #metoo.”

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