On Wednesday, a day after actress Heather Lind, accused former President George H.W. Bush of sexually assaulting her, Bush Sr.’s spokesman gave a statement where he admitted to patting women on the rear.
The spokesman stated, “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.”
The spokesman continued, “Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”
Lind, who has deleted her accusation on Instagram, said that she was “disturbed” after seeing a photo of former President Obama with Bush Sr.
Another woman is accusing Bush Sr. of doing something similar to her.
Jordana Grolnick, a New York actress has come out saying, “I got sent the Heather Lind story by many people this morning. And I’m afraid that mine is entirely similar.”
Grolnick says her incident with Bush Sr. happened in August of 2016 while she was working in a Maine production of Hunchback of Notre Dame. She says that Bush Sr. came backstage and the cast gathered for a photo. Grolnick says that other actors warned her that Bush had a reputation for fondling during photos but she admits she didn’t take them seriously because he’s in a wheelchair.
She states, “We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him. 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!’”
Grolnick says that the other castmates “laughed politely and out of discomfort.” She added that Barbara Bush was nearby. Grolnick stated, “[She] said something along the lines of, ‘He’s going to get himself put into jail!’ to which we laughed harder.”
She said that she told a couple people about the incident and received different reactions for her story. For example, she said she told her grandmother first who said,”Oh, he’s just sick! He hasn’t been well for years!” Grolnick recalled that her grandmother “was just laughing it off.” However, when she told her father, he got really angry.
She admits that she never considered going to the theater or legal authorities about the incident. She says, “I just thought, ‘Whatever. He’s a dirty old man.’”
However, she says that empathy for Lind and the trend with females coming out about their experience changed her mind.
She continued, “I don’t want to belittle Heather Lind for feeling violated. 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. 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.”
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