Earlier this week, actress Heather Lind alleged that former president George H.W. Bush had sexually assaulted her.
Since Lind came forward, another actress has come forward to share a similar story.
First reported by Deadspin, Jordana Grolnick says that during the intermission of a Maine production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the former president came backstage for a photo op with the cast.
According to Grolnick’s retelling, she had been warned by the other actors that Bush Sr. had a reputation for fondling, but she didn’t take the warning seriously, thinking, “he’s in a wheelchair, what harm could he do?”
When the group gathered for the photo, Bush reportedly put his around her behind and said to her, “Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?’ David Cop-a-Feel!”
Following the allegations, Bush’s spokesman Jim McGrath shared the following statement with numerous news outlets:
“At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”
While Grolnick initially brushed aside the incident, she told Deadspin that the #MeToo movement caused her to take pause. She explained that Bush “knows the power he has, and the reverence he deserves, even while sitting perhaps somewhat senile in a wheelchair.” Reflecting on the experience, she believes that women should not tolerate “these small comments and grazes from men,” as it implies permission or acceptance of such behavior.