A Second Woman Has Accused George H.W. Bush Of Groping Her

Getty Image

In the midst of continuing Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment allegations, the floodgates have seemingly opened regarding other men in power. This includes former President George H.W. Bush, who apologized after actress Heather Lind accused him of grabbing her backside and telling a lewd joke while she promoted a historical TV show. Now, a second actress has come forward against Bush with a very similar story but more details. And there’s a second Bush apology, which is kind of … off, but we’ll get there soon.

New York-based actress Jordana Grolnick spoke with Deadspin, which had previously (over a year ago) reported upon the Lind rumors and uncovered Grolnick’s story, which she now further elaborates upon. Grolnick claims that Bush also grabbed her rear while they took a backstage photo during a play intermission. She says he then told a lewd joke — “David Cop-A-Feel!” — and she says that other actors warned her about Bush’s reported reputation for “fondling” while taking photos, but she waved off concerns until the alleged groping happened:

“I guess I was thinking ‘He’s in a wheelchair, what harm could he do?’ We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him,” she says. “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 everyone present during the incident laughed, and everyone that she told (except for her father) laughed it off as well, so she initially dismissed the matter as Bush being a “dirty old man.” However, Grolnick believes it’s important to speak out now. “What I’ve come to realize is that if we tolerate these small comments and grazes from men on the street or former presidents,” she reasons. “They might assume that it’s ok with us, and they may take it as permission to do who-knows-what else.”

On Wednesday, Bush issued a brief apology after Lind’s accusations surfaced. His spokesperson, Jim McGrath, later issued a much longer statement:

“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.”

There’s no denial to be had here by Bush, and his spokesperson confirms that the ex-president repeats jokes. However, the “good-natured manner” detail about the groping make one wonder if Bush and McGrath are entirely missing the point. There’s nothing good-natured about non consensual butt grabbing. Nothing at all.

(Via Deadspin & CNN)