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Second Woman Accuses George H. W. Bush of Groping Her

Second Woman Accuses George H. W. Bush of Groping Her Promo Image

Former President George H. W. Bush has issued another apology after a second woman has come forward accusing him of touching her inappropriately. She also claims he made light of it by making a joke about "David Cop-a-Feel."

Actress Jordana Grolnick is now the second woman to call Bush out for groping her, Deadspin reported. The actress said the incident occurred in August 2016 during a "Hunchback of Notre Dame" show.

Bush and his wife, Barbara, had gone backstage during intermission. They met the cast and gathered for a group picture.

Grolnick admitted she was warned that the former president had a reputation for fondling women while taking pictures.

“I guess I was thinking ... He’s in a wheelchair, what harm could he do?’” the actress told Deadspin.

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"We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him," Grolnick recalled. "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 said people in the room “laughed politely and out of discomfort.” She added that Barbara "said something along the lines of, 'He's going to get himself put into jail!' to which we laughed harder."  

Grolnick said she received mixed reactions from people when she told them what happened.

“I told my grandmother first, because she was with me right after it happened,” Grolnick said. “She just said, ‘Oh, he’s just sick! He hasn’t been well for years!’ She was just laughing it off."

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"I just thought, 'Whatever. He's a dirty old man,'" Grolnick added.

The actress said Heather Lind's #metoo Instagram post inspired her to come forward and share her story. On Oct. 24, Lind shared a social media post accusing the former president of groping her four years earlier while at a private screening for the AMC series "Turn: Washington's Spies," the Daily Mail reported. She has since deleted the Instagram post, and Bush issued an apology through his spokesperson.

“I don’t want to belittle Heather Lind for feeling violated,” Grolnick 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," the actress added. "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.”

Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesperson, has since issued an apology to Grolnick on behalf of the former president.

"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," McGrath said in a statement. "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."

Sources: Deadspin, Daily Mail / Featured Image: AJ Guel/Flickr / Embedded Images: Jordana Grolnick/Instagram via Daily Mail, Invision for AMC/AP via Daily Mail

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