Update: On Wednesday evening, actress Jordana Grolnick publicly stated that former President George H.W. Bush groped her in August 2016, Deadspin reports.
"I got sent the Heather Lind story by many people this morning," Grolnick said. "And I’m afraid that mine is entirely similar."
According to Grolnick, the alleged incident occurred in Maine while she was working at a Maine production of Hunchback of Notre Dame. Bush Sr. frequents the theatre and came backstage during intermission for a photo with the cast. Grolnick says that she'd been warned by other actors that Bush had a reputation for fondling women during photos, but she didn't take it seriously at the time.
"We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him," Grolnick says. "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 favourite magician is? As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!'"
Grolnick says the other people in the room "laughed politely and out of discomfort" and Barbara Bush "said something along the lines of, 'He’s going to get himself put into jail!' to which we laughed harder."
At the time of the alleged incident, Grolnick says she told her friends and family about it and they had mixed reactions. At the time, she recalls almost "[laughing] it off" and chalking it up to Bush being "a dirty old man." She says she's coming forward now because she doesn't want Lind to feel alone and the recent #MeToo movement has caused her to take sexual harassment more seriously.
"I don’t want to belittle Heather Lind for feeling violated," Grolnick says. "Now that the #MeToo movement has brought this all to light, I think I should have been a little more alarmed to be touched so inappropriately by a man who was once the leader of the free world. He knows the power he has, and the reverence he deserves, even while sitting perhaps somewhat senile in a wheelchair."
Original story follows.
Actress Heather Lind has accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping her and telling her a dirty joke as they posed together for a photo a few years ago.
People reports Lind said in a now-deleted Instagram post that the incident took place while she was posing for a picture with Bush during a promotional tour for her AMC series TURN: Washington's Spies. She appears alongside the 93-year-old Bush, who's seated in a wheelchair, in a photo together at a Houston screening of the series in 2014.
"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 on the post, according to People. "He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side," she continued. "He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again."
She continued, "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.”
In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said the former president was sorry. He 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."
In the post, Lind said "the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences" inspired her to come forward with her story.