How very unpresidential of him!
On Monday, actress Heather Lind accused former President George H.W. Bush of sexually assaulting her during a photo opportunity four years ago. In an Instagram post, which has since been deleted, Lind claimed the 41st President of the United States “touched her from behind” and then “told her a dirty joke.”
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Oh no. Of course, Bush Sr.’s team has already moved quickly to downplay the accusation as a rep noted 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.”
We’re sure Heather doesn’t view a fondling as an “attempt at humor.” Like, c’mon!!
The Turn star’s admission comes amid the many Me Too confessions about sexual assault and/or harassment. At first, the brunette starlet didn’t have plans to expose the former POTUS. However, when she saw a snap of Barack Obama shaking hands with 41 at the recent Deep From the Heart: The One America Appeal concert, Heather decided to speak out.
Earlier this week, the 34-year-old shared:
“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 organizing aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes. I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo.”
Understandably, Heather does NOT revere Bush Sr. as she continued:
“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. He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side.”
How awful. The awkward moment then took a turn for the worse, as the Boardwalk Empire alum added:
“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. We were instructed to call him Mr. President.”
While it is standard for past Commander-In-Chiefs to be addressed as Mr. President, the security detail shouldn’t have victim-blamed the young woman. Regardless, Heather has doubled down on her refusal to call George, “Mr. President.”
She went on:
“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. 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.”
Oh snap. Thankfully, Heather’s castmates and producers helped her get through the ordeal. She also applauded the many others who’ve spoken out against sexual misconduct.
Although Heather didn’t share “where, when, and how” details from the alleged incident, it’s believed that the encounter took place during a private screening for AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies on March 29, 2014 in Houston, Texas. There is a photo of Heather posing next to George and Barbara from this event.
Lind concluded her note with:
“And 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. #metoo.”
Thank you for sharing, Heather. We can’t imagine it was easy.