- Two actresses have accused former President George H.W. Bush of inappropriately touching them.
- Bush, a spokesperson confirmed, routinely tells an off-colour joke when taking a picture.
- The joke reportedly goes, “Do you want to know who my favourite magician is? … David Cop-a-Feel!”
A George H.W. Bush spokesperson said Wednesday that the former president — who is confined to a wheelchair — often tells a lewd joke when he takes a picture.
Two actresses have come forward this week and claimed that Bush has inappropriately touched them and told an off-colour joke while being photographed. One of the women, actress Jordana Grolnick, detailed an August 2016 incident while speaking to Deadspin.
“He reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, ‘Do you want to know who my favourite magician is?'” Grolnick said. “As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!'”
Another actress, Heather Lind, said in a now-deleted Instagram post that Bush repeatedly touched her from behind and told a dirty joke when they met in 2014.
“He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke,” Lind wrote. “And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again.”
A spokesperson confirmed in a statement Wednesday that because Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for the past five years, he tells the joke because “his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures.”
“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,” the statement read.
“Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely,” the statement added.
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