A third woman has come forth to accuse former President George H. W. Bush of sexual harassment.
Author Christina Baker Kline made the allegation on Thursday with an explosive Slate op-ed. Kline claims Bush inappropriately grabbed her while a photo was taken during a literary luncheon in 2014.
“I wasn’t traumatized. I’m not angry. But it shouldn’t have happened.” https://t.co/i6InNVlVh4
— Slate (@Slate) October 27, 2017
“You wanna know my favorite book?” Kline said Bush whispered in order to draw her closer.
As she came in, Kline said her husband flanked one side of Bush’s wheelchair while she stood on the other. That’s when Bush allegedly made his move.
“President Bush put his arm around me, low on my back,” Kline recalled.
“His comic timing was impeccable, ‘David Cop-a-feel,’ he said, and squeezed my butt, hard, just as the photographer snapped the photo. Instinctively, I swiped his hand away.”
Kline said she revealed what had just happened to her unknowing husband after they were whisked away to a car shortly after the picture was taken.
The driver supposedly told Kline that she best keep the incident “discreet” which set off alarm bells.
“Her comment wasn’t menacing,” Kline wrote. “But in that moment I thought: She has heard this before. The people around President Bush are accustomed to doing damage control. There must be many of us, I remember thinking. And now I know there are.”
Kline is referring to two women who previously came out with similar allegations against President Bush.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 27, 2017
Actress Jordana Grolink joined actress Heather Lind on Wensdeay in describing almost the exact same scenario – Bush groping them from behind while a photo was being taken.
Kline said there were several reasons why she never went public with the allegation, including not wanting to seem unsympathetic to Bush’s frail state. But she admitted it was the former confessions by Grolink and Lind that ultimately prompted her to come forward.
When Slate reached out for comment, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath directed them to a response released after the previous groping charges:
“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.”
It appears that Bush is caught up in a recent spate of sexual harassment accusations that is spanning media, Hollywood, and politics. The former president apologized and has been fairly transparent about the offensive gesture, which by all appearances is not even remotely in the same class as the troubling allegations facing directors Harvey Weinstein and James Toback.
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