A sexual assault claim involving a former U.S. president made headlines Wednesday when George H. W. Bush’s office responded to the allegation with an apology.
The statement was in response to Heather Lind, an American actress who claimed the elder Bush “touched me from behind” during an event in 2014 in a now-deleted Instagram post. She also alleged that the former head of state, who is now 93 years old, told her a “dirty joke” during their encounter — all while Bush’s wife was reportedly in the room.
On Tuesday, Lind wrote the following in a post no longer available for viewing on Instagram:
“When I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo,” she said. “He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again.”
— akpodeebright (@akpodee_b) October 25, 2017
Jim McGrath, a spokesman for the 41st U.S. president, responded to the allegation on Wednesday.
“President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humour offended Ms. Lind,” the statement said.
Born in 1924, Bush served as U.S. president from 1988 until 1992. He has been dealing with health issues in recent years, including a bout with pneumonia in January. Bush currently suffers from vascular parkinsonism, an illness similar to Parkinson’s disease.
The accusation follows weeks of allegations against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein, who is facing multiple claims of sexual assault and harassment from various women in the film industry. Women have been writing stories on social media, accompanied by the hashtag #MeToo, to open up about their unwanted sexual encounters.
Here’s what we know about Lind, according to information sourced from her IMDB biography page:
- She was born on March 22, 1983, in Upland, Penn., which makes her 34 years old.
- She was raised in Guilderland, N.Y., graduated from Fordham University in 2005 and earned her Masters of Fine Arts in acting at New York University in 2007.
- She’s starred in Boardwalk Empire, Blue Bloods, Sleepy Hollow, The Walker, TURN: Washington’s Spies, Fireworkers, Stealing Cars, Half the Perfect World and Demolition.
- She has an identical sister, Christina Bennett Lind, who has appeared as an actress in All My Children, House of Cards, Calico Skies, Person of Interest, Z: The Beginning of Everything and Blue Bloods.