George H.W. Bush apologized to actress Heather Lind after she said he grabbed her “from behind” and told her a dirty joke.

George H.W. Bush, Accused of Sexual Assault, Apologizes for His “Attempt at Humor”

George H.W. Bush, Accused of Sexual Assault, Apologizes for His “Attempt at Humor”

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Oct. 25 2017 9:49 AM

George H.W. Bush, Accused of Sexual Assault, Apologizes for His “Attempt at Humor”

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Former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton attend the Hurricane Relief concert in College Station, Texas, on Saturday.

Jim Chapin/AFP/Getty Images

Former President George H.W. Bush has apologized to actress Heather Lind after she accused him in an Instagram post on Tuesday of sexual assault at a 2014 photo-op for a screening of her TV show.

In the post, which she has since deleted, Lind said the now 93-year-old Bush “sexually assaulted” her when he touched her “from behind” and told her a “dirty joke” as his wife, Barbara Bush, stood by his side. “And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again’,” Lind wrote.

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A representative for Bush said in a statement to reporters that the former president had made a mistake. “President Bush would never—under any circumstance—intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,” the statement said.

The photo-op occurred at an event for Turn: Washington’s Spies, an AMC drama about the American Revolution. Lind said in the post that security staff working for Bush told her she should not have stood next to him during the photos.

In her post, she said she was “disturbed” by a photo of Obama shaking hands with the elder Bush in a gathering of former presidents, who together attended a benefit concert for Puerto Rico relief efforts Saturday. “I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served,” she wrote. “And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo.” She then went on to detail her experience with Bush.

Molly Olmstead is a Slate assistant social media editor.