Actress Heather Lind, who most recently starred in the AMC series Turn: Washington’s Spies, wrote about the alleged experience in a now deleted Instagram post.
She claims that she was standing next to the former president when he “touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side.” She also alleges George told her a “dirty joke.”
He apologized for the alleged incident in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. The former president’s spokesman Jim McGrath said in the statement, “President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”
Heather wrote in the caption of her Instagram that an image of former Presidents Barack Obama and George H.W. Bush shaking hands in a gathering of other former presidents “disturbed her.”
“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served,” Heather wrote. “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."
“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,” Heather claimed.
Heather continued her alleged story, saying, “Barbara [Bush] 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. 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.”
“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,” Heather concluded.
She also wrote that her fellow AMC castmates knew about the alleged assault because she told them, and that she decided to come forward because of “the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences.”
What are your thoughts on Heather’s claims? Sound off in the comments!