In the wake of revelations that the elder George Bush apparently likes reaching for the behinds of women from his wheelchair, a New York actress says she has a similar story to the one told by Heather Lind from earlier this week.
“I got sent the Heather Lind story by many people this morning,” Jordana Grolnick said according to Deadspin. “And I’m afraid that mine is entirely similar.”
Deadspin reports that in August of 2016, Grolnick was working on a Maine production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame of which Bush attended. When he came backstage during an intermission, she and the rest of the cast gathered for a group photo with him.
When warned that by others that Bush had a history of wandering hands, Grolnick said she thought to herself, “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 continued. “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!'”
According to Grolnick, the incident caused some awkward laughter, prompting former First Lady Barbara Bush to say something to the effect of, “He’s going to get himself put in jail!” which brought more laughter. She then immediately when home and posted the group photo to Instagram.
The incident comes on the heels of Lind’s accusations, where she, also an actress, accused Bush in a now-deleted Instagram post of groping her during a 2014 photo-op for the Revolutionary War drama Turn: Washington Spies.
“I was disturbed today by a photo I saw of President Barack Obama shaking hands with George H. W. Bush in a gathering of ex-presidents organising aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes,” Lind said, referring to Saturday’s benefit event where all five living former U.S. presidents attended.
“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served,” she continued. “And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo. But when I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo.”
Bush also used the “David Cop-a-Feel” joke when allegedly groping her.
Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the former president, 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.”
Update: According to The Washington Times, a spokesman for George H.W. Bush has issued a second apology after Grolnick’s accusations came to light.
“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,” Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said. “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. ”
Featured image via Deadspin