Conservative talk show host Melanie Morgan added to the controversy surrounding Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) Thursday afternoon, after going public with her own accusations against the comedian-turned-legislator.
Morgan claims that in 2000, when she was a political talk show host in San Francisco, she was invited to appear with Franken on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect,” and witnessed Franken’s allegedly strange behavior first-hand.
During the show, the pair butted heads over a set of budget numbers and government spending priorities. Morgan says she thought the argument was fairly innocent — after all, the show was about confrontation between political opposites — but, she alleges, Franken “obsessed” over her remark. He was so fixated, she claims, he approached her after the show, and when she refused to argue with him further, asked a production assistant for her home phone number.
“He approached me backstage, angrily called me out on those numbers and insisted he would prove he was right. He wouldn’t leave me alone, he kept following me. As a woman, his presence and proximity to me felt very threatening and intimidating,” Morgan alleges. “I didn’t realize his creepy behavior after the show meant it would continue in the days to come.”
Morgan goes on to claim that Franken called her at home repeatedly to talk about the issue, but that she refused to speak with him. During the third call, Morgan says, she told Franken she’d call the police if he didn’t quit badgering her. She says she never heard from him after that, but that the experience left her concerned and fearful.
Morgan also says she sympathizes with Leeann Tweeden who, Thursday morning, revealed in an essay that Franken had “kissed and groped” her during a USO tour in the early 2000s. I never forgot that experience and it informed me of his lack of character and obsessive personality. I believe every word Leann wrote.”
Franken issued a statement taking responsibility for the acts in connection with Tweeden, but claiming he intended his behavior as a joke.