Thirty-six women who worked with Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) during his time on NBC’s "Saturday Night Live" have come to his defense amid the groping allegations against him.
“We feel compelled to stand up for Al Franken, whom we have all had the pleasure of working with over the years on Saturday Night Live (SNL),” they wrote in a letter obtained by NBC News Tuesday.
“In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer and an admirable public servant,” the group added.
“That is why we are moved to quickly and directly affirm that after years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard.”
The collective noted, however, that they disapprove of Franken’s past treatment of broadcaster Leeann Tweeden.
“What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public,” the women wrote.
NBC on Tuesday reported that Franken worked as a performer and writer on "Saturday Night Live" from 1975 to 1980 and again from 1985 to 1995.
Tuesday’s letter comes just under a week after Tweeden accused Franken of groping and kissing her without consent in 2006.
Lindsay Menz on Monday became the second woman to allege that Franken behaved in the same fashion around her.
“He pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear,” she said of a 2010 photo taken with Franken at the Minnesota State Fair.
“It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek,” Menz added. “It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt.”
Franken has since said he feels “badly” about his encounter with Menz, and he has also apologized twice to Tweeden.
The Minnesota lawmaker has also called for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation of his own behavior in the wake of Tweeden’s account.