Former President George H.W. Bush has apologized following sexual assault allegations from actress Heather Lind, with his spokesperson calling the incident an “attempt at humor.”
In a now-deleted Instagram post, Lind, 34, reportedly accused Bush, 93, of groping her in 2014 in during a Houston screening for the AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies. She claimed Bush inappropriately touched her from his wheelchair while they took a photo.
“He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side,” Lind wrote in the caption Tuesday, according to Rolling Stone.
“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 I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo.”
According to Newsweek, Lind claimed she told AMC cast and crew about the alleged assault afterward and they offered her their full support.
The actress said she decided to break her silence after seeing President Barack Obama shaking hands with Bush during a benefit concert Saturday to raise money for hurricane victims. She said she now understands that intimidation prevented her from coming forward sooner.
Lind later said her run-in with Bush makes her believe that he’s treated “countless other women” this way.
“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,” she wrote.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Bush has since apologized to Lind following Tuesday’s allegations.
Spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement sent to People, “President Bush would never—under any circumstance—intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”
[Featured Image: AP Photo/David J. Phillip; Andy Kropa/Invision/AP]