George H W Bush issues second apology after actor claims he touched her

Heather Lind accused former US president of touching her from behind while posing for photo

Former US president George H W Bush has apologised through a spokesman following allegations by actor Heather Lind that he groped her as they posed for photographs together in 2014. Video: Reuters

 

Former US president George HW Bush has issued a second apology after a television actor accused him of touching her from behind while she was posing for a photo alongside him and telling her a dirty joke.

The former president’s office issued an initial apology, but released a second statement on Wednesday to offer an explanation.

“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,” the statement said.

“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. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologises most sincerely.”

People magazine reported that Heather Lind (34) said in a now-deleted Instagram post that the incident took place while she was posing for a photo with Mr Bush during a promotional tour for her AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies.

“He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke,” she posted, according to the MailOnline.

Ms Lind appears alongside Mr Bush, who is seated in a wheelchair, in a photo together at a Houston screening of the series in 2014.

Bush spokesman Jim McGrath had earlier told The Associated Press in a statement: “President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologises if his attempt at humour offended Ms Lind.”–AP