After explosive details of sexual abuse and sexual harassment exposed big names in television and Hollywood, like Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and Harvey Weinstein, a floodgate has opened for all of those who suffered silently for far too many years.
The latest accusation of sexual assault comes from actress Heather Lind, former star of the television series Turn: Washington Spies. During a photo shoot in 2014 for the filming of a special episode featuring former president George H.W. Bush, Lind says that the 41st president repeatedly touched her from behind without her consent.
Lind wrote in an Instagram post, which she has since deleted:
‘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. 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.
‘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.
‘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.’
Jim McGrath, who serves as a spokesman for Bush, gave the following statement to reporters.
‘President Bush would never—under any circumstance—intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.’
It doesn’t seem as though anyone is laughing at Bush’s humor, nor does Lind or anyone else think that sexual assault and sexual harassment are a joke.
Featured image screengrab via YouTube