Former president George H.W. Bush became the latest president to be accused of sexual assault this week, after actress Heather Lind spoke out in a now-deleted Instagram post about how Bush reached up from his wheelchair and "touched her from behind" after a private screening of her show Turn: The Washington Spies.
On Wednesday night, a second actress gave a similar account of her experience with 41st president. Jordana Grolnick, according to Deadspin, said that, "I got sent the Heather Lind story by many people this morning. And I'm afraid that mine is entirely similar."
Deadspin also reported that they received a tip over a year ago alerting them that Bush had groped Lind while telling her "that his favorite magician was 'David Cop-a-Feel' while fondling her."
They linked to two old tweets apparently relating to the incident:
Grolnick shared her story with Deadspin:
“We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him,” she says. “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 favorite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’”
Grolnick says others in the room “laughed politely and out of discomfort.” Former first lady Barbara Bush was among those nearby. “[She] said something along the lines of, ‘He’s going to get himself put into jail!’ to which we laughed harder,” Grolnick says.
Twitter has exploded over the account, and over the way Bush addressed it:
"At age 93, President Bush has been confirmed to a wheelchair for roughly five years," went the statement, "so 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."
"Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate," it concluded. "To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely."
The internet's reaction has been anything but impressed by the logic of Bush's apology.
Everyone agrees: terrible jokes do not make sexual assault okay.