George H. W. Bush On Second Groping Scandal: I Meant It In ‘A Good-Natured Manner’

Oct. 26 2017, Updated 12:20 p.m. ET

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George H.W. Bush was just accused by another actress of sexual assault! The 93-year-old former President previously apologized to actress Heather Lind, 34, for groping her backside during a photoshoot – saying he meant it as “an attempt at humor” and he was sorry – yet now another star revealed he did the same to her. Jordana Grolnick told Deadspin that her experience with George was “entirely similar” to Lind’s.

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She explained that during a backstage photo session at the Hunchback of Notre Dame production in Maine in 2016, she stood next to the President, and while the cameras flashed, he groped her.

“We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him,” said Grolnick. “He reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, ‘Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’”

She added that the other girls in the room “laughed politely and out of discomfort,” while George’s wife Barbara Bush, 92, “said something along the lines of, ‘He’s going to get himself put into jail!’ to which we laughed harder.”

After Grolnick’s disturbing claims, Bush's rep filed a second statement, explaining the faded politician’s actions. It read: “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.”

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Grolnick admitted that for a while she and the family members she told the sick story to, only laughed it off, thinking “Whatever. He’s a dirty old man.” Recent instances, however, changed her mind about the incident and prompted her to come forward.

“I don’t want to belittle Heather Lind for feeling violated,” she said. “Now that the #metoo movement has brought this all to light, I think I should have been a little more alarmed to be touched so inappropriately by a man who was once the leader of the free world. He knows the power he has, and the reverence he deserves, even while sitting perhaps somewhat senile in a wheelchair.”

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As readers know, Grolnick and Lind's accusations towards Bush come at the heels of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal that outraged Hollywood.

“What I’ve come to realize is that if we tolerate these small comments and grazes from men on the street or former presidents, they might assume that it’s ok with us, and they may take it as permission to do who-knows-what else. I realize that making light of the situation was the wrong move. It wasn’t ok for him to do that to me. He wasn’t able to give me a job or a movie deal, so I didn’t feel compromised or pressured to do anything more, but the comments and assumptions about our bodies must stop, at all levels,” concluded Grolnick.

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