Former President George H. W. Bush, now 93, has apologized for a 2014 incident that actress Heather Lind termed a “sexual assault.”
According to the Daily Mail, Bush attended the premiere of Lind’s AMC show, Turn: Washington’s Spies, and during a photo opportunity, the former President — then 91 years old — reportedly leaned over in his wheelchair, patted Lind on her bottom, and told her a “dirty joke.”
Lind told the story on Instagram, where she claimed in a post that the president had his wife, Barbara Bush, by his side, and that Barbara simply “rolled her eyes” “as if to say ‘not again.’”
The photo is now gone off the social media network, but the Mail captured Lind’s caption.
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. 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.
The actress went on to say that a nearby security guard told her she shouldn’t have stood next to the former president for the photo op, and to excoriate the former president whom she says she will no longer refer to with any titles of honor.
“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,” the lengthy post went on.
“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 said that she shared the assault with her cast members who were very supportive.
Bush issued a statement Wednesday morning apologizing for any harm he might have caused with his “attempt at humor.”
“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,” the former president told Fox News through a spokeswoman.
Not everyone on social media thought Lind was doing the right thing by pointing out the alleged sexual assault by a former president. A number of comments on her Instagram photo pointed out that, at the time, Bush was 91, and that, according to recent reports, Bush now suffers from mild, age-related dementia, and a form of vascular Parkinson’s disease. Even those who claimed to have “never voted for a Republican,” seemed irritated with Lind’s “#metoo” type story.