Another woman has come forward to accuse former President George H.W. Bush of groping her, an incident she says took place when she was just 16 years old and he was 79. The alleged incident also took place before George H.W. Bush had been confined to a wheel chair, which would negated past assertions by his spokesman that the alleged groping incidents were just unfortunate byproducts of his medical condition.
“As soon as the picture was being snapped on the one-two-three he dropped his hands from my waist down to my buttocks and gave it a nice, ripe squeeze, which would account for the fact that in the photograph my mouth is hanging wide open,” Corrigan told TIME. “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, what just happened?'”
“My initial action was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” she said. “The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t have touched me like that?'”
Corrigan had been meeting the former President for the first time in The Woodlands, Texas, office of the Central Intelligence Agency, where Corrigan’s father gathered with fellow intelligence officers and family members for a meet and greet.
According to TIME, as many as seven people confirmed that Corrigan told them of the alleged incident throughout the years. Corrigan’s mother, Sari Young, says that her daughter spoke of Bush’s alleged actions the moment he stepped away.
“When he left, my daughter Rozi said, ‘He grabbed me on the rear end.’ And I said, ‘What, what?'” Sari said. “And she said, ‘Yes, he grabbed me when they were taking the picture. He grabbed me on my butt.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my god, are you kidding me?'”
“I was really, really upset — she was very upset, she was really, really mad,” she added. “But, you know, it’s the president. What are you supposed to do? And you’ve got your husband’s job that could be in jeopardy. I mean, you just didn’t then. You should — you should have always spoken up, always — but we didn’t.”
The former President’s spokesperson, Jim McGrath, told TIME that Bush “has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner” and that he “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.”
For the past five women who accused the former President of groping them, McGrath attributed it to Bush’s onset of Parkinson’s and confinement to a wheelchair, which did not materialize for the former President until 2012. Of the six alleged groping incidents, three occurred prior to 2012: Amanda Staples in 2006, Liz Allen in 2004, and now Corrigan in 2003.
In the same TIME interview, Corrigan mentioned listening to a previous podcast by DailyWire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro called “Is Everything Sexual Assault Now?” where the allegations were discussed.
“When I heard that was the reason, like, ‘Oh, he’s just an old man and he doesn’t know any better and he’s just being harmless and playful and it’s just where his arm falls … I just burst into uncontrollable sobbing,” Corrigan said. “I just couldn’t sit with that. I can’t. I cannot sit with that. I can’t sleep anymore, because that’s not true, and it’s not an excuse.”
As a point of fact, Shapiro did not defend the former President’s alleged behavior, noting the importance of determining if his behavior was due to actual dementia or his own free will. In the latter case, Shapiro did not let H.W. off the hook.
“Here’s the reality, if my wife had been groped on the behind while some old guy shouted ‘David cop-a-feel’ I would not be a happy camper,” Shapiro said. “This idea that it’s okay because Bush is old, or because he was a war hero, I don’t buy that.”
The TIME article did not note what Shapiro actually stated in the podcast. He only gave the former president leeway if and only if his Parkinson’s and dementia made him not responsible for his actions.