Washington, Oct 25: Former President of the United States George W Bush apologised for an “attempt at humour” after actress Heather Lind accused him of sexually assaulting her during the 2014 photo-op for American Revolutionary War drama Turn: Washington’s Spie.
Actress Lind, in a now-deleted Instagram post, accused George Bush of touching her inappropriately while in his wheelchair. Referring to a gig where all five living former US presidents were present on the stage, Lind said, “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.”
“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,” she went on.
She added that she got a chance to meet George HW Bush some four years ago to promote a historical television show she was working on. “…he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo,” she said.
“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 rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again’,” Lind added.
Lind also said that the security staff working for Bush told her that she shouldn’t have stood with the former president. “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….he relinquished that power when he used it against me and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me,” Lind’s post read.
“And I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George HW Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him. #metoo,” the post read. This was posted under ‘Me Too’ hashtag under which various women and men have shared their experience of sexual assault.
To the allegations, spokesman for the former president, Jim McGrath, 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.”