George H.W. Bush has apologized after actress Heather Lind accused the former president of sexual misconduct, People reports.
In a now-deleted Instagram post, Lind, who starred in AMC's TURN: Washington's Spies, shared a photo of Bush and former president Barack Obama shaking hands. Lind wrote that the image "disturbed" her because when she met Bush, she wrote, he didn't shake her hand.
"I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served," Lind wrote. "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."
Lind wrote that Bush's wife, Barbara Bush, "rolled her eyes as if to say 'not again,'" and that the former POTUS' security guard told her she shouldn't have stood next to him for the photo.
"What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn't so different from a President really," she continued. "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."
The actress added that she told her castmates about the assault and decided to share her story because of "the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences."
Bush apologized to Lind in a statement.
The former president's spokesman Jim McGrath said in the 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."0comments
Lind's accusations come in the wake of similar allegations against several prominent figures including Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly and James Toback.
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