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‘Former president George H.W. Bush sexually assaulted me’ from his wheelchair while his wife stood next to him, actress claims

In the past several weeks, dozens of women have accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 11:32am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 October, 2017, 8:53pm

An actress claims that former president George H.W. Bush groped her from his wheelchair during a screening.

Heather Lind, who starred in Turn: Washington’s Spies, detailed her accusations in a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday, when she said she was “disturbed” after seeing a photo of former president Barack Obama with the 41st president.

“I found it disturbing because I recognise the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. 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,” Lind, 34, wrote.

“He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again’. His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo.”

Lind, who played Anna Strong on the drama about “America’s first spy ring”. met the former president, 93, during a special screening of the show in 2014, a week before its premiere.

“We were instructed to call him Mr President. It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy. He relinquished that power when he used it against me and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me,” Lind wrote.

“What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a President really. I can enact positive change. I can actually help people. I can be a symbol of my democracy. I can refuse to call him President, and call out other abuses of power when I see them.

“I can vote for a President, in part, by the nature of his or her character, knowing that his or her political decisions must necessarily stem from that character.”

Lind went on to say that she told her castmates about the alleged assault and that she decided to come forward because of “the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences”.

In the past several weeks, dozens of women have accused film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and harassment, as well as similar claims against other actors, producers, directors, photographers and musicians.

“I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George H.W. Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him,” she wrote.

In a statement to the New York Daily News, Bush’s spokesman did not deny the allegations.

“President Bush would never – under any circumstance – intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologises if his attempt at humour offended Ms Lind,” his spokesman said.