A television actress accused former President George H.W. Bush of touching her from behind while she was posing for a photo alongside him and telling her a dirty joke several years ago.
Heather Lind said in a now-deleted Instagram post that the incident took place while she was posing for a photo with Bush and his wife during a promotional tour for her AMC series "TURN: Washington's Spies," E! News reported. Lind appears alongside the now-93-year-old Bush, who's seated in a wheelchair, in a photo together at a Houston screening of the series in 2014.
Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement: "President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind."
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Lind described the incident as sexual assault, writing, "He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side."
She added that Bush "told me a dirty joke" then touched her again while Barbara Bush rolled her eyes.
"His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo," Lind wrote.
The former president's office released the following statement Wednesday night regarding the allegation:
"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."