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Third woman says she was groped by George H.W. Bush

The Hill logo The Hill 10/27/2017 Julia Manchester
Third woman says she was groped by George H.W. Bush © Provided by The Hill Third woman says she was groped by George H.W. Bush A third woman said Thursday that she too was groped by former President George H.W. Bush during a photo op in 2014.

Christina Baker Kline described the incident in a Slate op-ed, saying it took place at a Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy fundraiser.

"You wanna know my favorite book?" Kline recalled Bush telling her as she leaned closer to him for the photo, with she and her husband standing on either side of Bush's wheelchair.

"President Bush put his arm around me, low on my back. His comic timing was impeccable. 'David Cop-a-feel,' he said, and squeezed my butt, hard, just as the photographer snapped the photo. Instinctively, I swiped his hand away," Kline wrote.

Kline is the third woman this week to accuse the former president of unwanted touching.

Actresses Heather Lind and Jordan Grolnick shared similar stories of their encounters with Bush.

Kline wrote that she felt "compelled to step forward" after the two other women talked about similar experiences.

"This is what's most galling: I was at that event as a guest author, alongside three male authors. I was groped. As far as I know, they were not. What happened to me at a literary luncheon with a former president would never have happened to them," she wrote.

A spokesperson for Bush issued an apology on behalf of the former president on Wednesday.

"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," Bush spokesman Jim McGrath said in the 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," it added.

"To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely."


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