On Thursday, former USO performer and current morning radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of groping her breasts, apparently for a photo while she slept.
During a 2006 USO Tour in the Middle East, Tweeden tried avoiding Franken while he visited the troops. In an account provided by KABC, Tweeden described her disgust when Franken kissed her backstage after insisting they rehearse a kiss for the skit they would perform that day.
Tweeden, however, planned to turn her head away during the performance and never actually kiss Franken:
“He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.
He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.
I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.
I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.
I felt disgusted and violated.”
At the end of December, Franken groped her breasts while she slept on a flight back to Los Angeles. “I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” she said.
On Thursday morning, Franken said he remembered the rehearsal differently and that the photo was “intended to be funny but wasn’t.”
Just got a response from @alfranken: “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
— Asher Klein (@kleinstar) November 16, 2017
Tweeden’s allegation follows many accusations hurled at high-profile politicians and celebrities. Just this past week, Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore denied multiple allegations of sexual misconduct including pursuing a sexual relationship with a 14 year old girl.
Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated since initial publication.