George H.W. Bush 'Patted Women's Rears In Good-Natured Manner,' Office Says

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President George H.W. Bush arrives for the coin toss prior to Super Bowl 51 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The former president issued an apology after being accused of sexual assault by actress Heather Lind. Adrees Latif/Reuters

Former President George H.W. Bush has apologized for patting women’s rears after another woman complained of being inappropriately touched by him Wednesday.

In a post on social media on Tuesday, actress Heather Lind accused Bush, 93, of touching her inappropriately. Another actress, Jordana Grolnick, came forward Wednesday with a similar allegation. 

A spokesperson for Bush indicated that the two women are not alone in being touched by Bush, who has been wheelchair bound since 2012 with a condition called Vascular Parkinsonism.

While she was working on a production of the Hunchback of Notre Dame in August 2016, Grolnick told Deadspin that Bush—who lives near the theatre in Maine—came backstage with his wife Barbara Bush to take a photo with the cast.

“We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him,” Gorlick said. “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!’”

Gorlick said Barabara “said something along the lines of, ‘He’s going to get himself put into jail!’”

Read more: George H.W. Bush Apologizes After Actress Heather Lind Accuses Him of Sexual Assault

Lind told a similar story in her now deleted post on Instagram Tuesday, accusing Bush of sexual assault when she met him while promoting a television show. “He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke,” Lind said. “And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again’.”

After Bush spokesman Jim McGrath issued an apology to Lind Wednesday, the former president’s office issued a longer statement suggesting this is a routine joke that the president tells since “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 said.  

“Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate,” it reads. “To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”

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