A television actress has accused former President George H.W. Bush of touching her from behind while they posed for a photo together and telling her a dirty joke.
Heather Lind said in a now-deleted Instagram post that the incident occurred while she posed with Bush during a promotional tour for her AMC series TURN: Washington’s Spies.
Lind appeared alongside Bush – who is now 93 years old and remains in a wheelchair – for a photo together at a Houston screening of the program in 2014.
“President Bush would never – under any circumstance – intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind,” Bush spokesman Jim McGrath told The Associated Press Wednesday.
People on Wednesday reported that Lind wrote she was “disturbed” by a photo of Bush recently shaking hands with former President Barack Obama.
Bush and Obama appeared together last Saturday during a benefit concert for recent hurricane victims in the U.S. alongside other former presidents.
“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect that ex-presidents are given for having served,” she said on Instagram. “And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo.”
“But 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,” Lind added.
“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.”
Lind noted that her AMC castmates were aware of the alleged incident, adding that she had decided to come forward following recent events.
“[It’s] the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences,” she said of what inspired her post.
Lind’s accusation comes after scores of women have accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting or harassing them this month.
The allegations surrounding Weinstein – which he has strongly denied via a spokesperson – have led women worldwide to share similar stories about other powerful figures.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.