Update: A 55-year-old woman told CNN former President George H.W. Bush groped her without her consent during a fundraising event for his re-election in 1992. This marks the first time Bush has been accused of inappropriately touching someone while he was in office.
"We got closer together for a family photo, and it was like, 'Holy crap!'" the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN as she described the moment the former president touched her buttocks. "It was like a gentle squeeze."
A total of seven women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Bush Sr. since mid-October. Most of them have said that he touched them inappropriately while they were taking photos together.
Update, November 13, 2017: A sixth woman has accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping her, The Washington Post reports. Rosyln Corrigan says the alleged incident occurred in 2003, when she was only 16, during a photo op at the CIA's Texas office.
"My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused," Corrigan told Time. "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's spokesperson released the following statement to The Washington Post: "[Bush] simply does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone harm or distress, and he again apologizes to anyone he may have offended during a photo op."
In October, actresses Heather Lind and Jordana Grolnick publicly accused Bush of groping them during photo ops. Shortly thereafter, author Christina Baker Kline published an article on Slate accusing Bush of groping her in 2014 during a photo op at a Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy fundraiser.
In a private Instagram post, Maine politician Amanda Staples stated that Bush groped her in 2006, as reported by The Portland Herald Press on October 27. And in a Facebook post, retired journalist Liz Allen accused Bush of inappropriately touching her at a 2004 Manufacturer and Business Association event, as reported by GoErie.com on October 28.
The original story was published on October 25.
"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 theater 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 favorite 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.
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.