George H.W. Bush apologized to actress Heather Lind after she claimed in a since-deleted Instagram post that he sexually assaulted her at an event 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,” the former president’s spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement to Us Weekly on Wednesday, October 25.
Lind, 34, alleged on Instagram on Tuesday, October 24, that Bush, 93, “sexually assaulted” her during a photo op at a private screening of her AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies in Houston in 2014. “He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side,” she claimed in the caption of her post. “He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again.’ His security guard told me that I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo.”
The Demolition actress continued, “We were instructed to call him Mr. President. It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy. He relinquished that power when he used it against me. … What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a President really. I can enact positive change. I can actually help people. I can be a symbol of my democracy. I can refuse to call him President, and call out other abuses of power when I see them. I can vote for a President, in part, by the nature of his or her character, knowing that his or her political decisions must necessarily stem from that character.”
Lind concluded her post by explaining that she turned to her costars and producers for support after the alleged encounter, adding, “I do not respect [Bush].”
The accusation came after a number of women, including A-listers Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, came forward with sexual harassment and assault claims against Harvey Weinstein. The 65-year-old producer’s spokesperson previously told Us that he denies “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!