A second woman now says Sen. Al Franken touched her inappropriately, this time at a photo op in 2010.
Minnesota native Lindsay Menz says she was helping her parents run a booth at the Minnesota State Fair when Franken stopped by for a brief exchange and to take pictures. After a brief, “cordial exchange,” Menz told CNN, Franken leaned in for a photo — and that’s when things got really weird.
Franken, Metz says, “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear. It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”
It wasn’t subtle, either. “It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,” she said, recalling that the brazen act lasted three or four seconds. “I was like, oh my God, what’s happening.”
Metz’s husband corroborated her version of events. “I was upset. I wasn’t happy about it in the least,” Jeremy Menz also told the news network. “He was already gone and I wasn’t going to confront him. But yeah — I was in shock, really.” He also told Metz’s parents that his senator had “groped my wife right in front of me.”
Metz says she was left feeling “gross,” and told her father and the local radio hosts who were running the booth. When she posted the photo on Facebook, friends commented that Franken was weirdly close, and Metz responded by calling the senator a “creeper.”
Franken told CNN that he doesn’t remember the incident, but is sorry if he left Metz feeling weird.
“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken said. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”
Franken has been under fire since late last week, after a Los Angeles radio host published an essay describing how she was mistreated by the Minnesota senator during a USO tour to Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 2000s. Leeane Tweeden says the then-SNL alum forced her to kiss him during a “rehearsal,” and then groped her for a photo.
Franken apologized but said he would not step down from his position, and will instead submit to an ethics investigation.