Former president George H.W. Bush has issued an apology to an actress who says he touched her inappropriately and told a “dirty joke” as they posed for a group photo four years ago.
Heather Lind made the accusation in a now-deleted Instagram post, saying Bush “touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side.”
In a statement via his spokesperson Jim McGrath, obtained by People, Bush 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.”
Lind alleges the incident occurred when she posed with Bush while promoting the AMC show Turn: Washington’s Spies. Lind, in the post, said she opted to come forward after seeing a photo of Bush and Obama shaking hands at a recent gathering of former presidents.
“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo. But 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,” Lind wrote. “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. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again.”
The allegations come as several actresses have accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of assault in recent weeks.