Actress Heather Lind has accused former President George H.W. Bush of sexual assault during a 2014 photo-op for television drama Turn: Washington's Spies.
In a now deleted Instagram post, which was posted on Tuesday, Lind claims that the 93-year-old, who has vascular parkinsonism and has used a wheelchair in recent years, touched her from behind while Bush's wife, Barbara, was standing besides him.
“I was disturbed today by a photo I saw of President Barack Obama shaking hands with George H. W. Bush in a gathering of ex-presidents organizing aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes," Lind said, referring to a Saturday benefit gig featuring all five living former U.S. presidents.
“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. 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. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say 'not again.'"
Lind said she told Bush's security about the events, but was told that she shouldn't have stood next to the former president.
"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 and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me."
Lind also said that she told other AMC cast members and crew...
"My fellow cast-mates and producers helped me that day and continue to support me. I am grateful for the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences."
"And I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George H. W. Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him. #metoo."
The 'Me Too' hashtag is a movement under which women have been sharing their stories of sexual assault after dozens of women accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and rape.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the president said:
“President Bush would never—under any circumstance—intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”
It remains unclear why Lind deleted her Instagram post.