Former President George H.W. Bush has been accused of groping several women in recent years. The allegations all cited a time when he was no longer president, and his representative has pointed out the fact that he is an old, feeble man in a wheelchair.
However, a new allegation has surfaced. A Michigan woman claims he touched her inappropriately during a photo-op while he was still in office, reported CNN.
She says the incident happened at a Dearborn, Michigan, event in April 1992. The woman, now 55, says she attended the fundraiser for Bush’s re-election campaign with her father.
"We got closer together for a family photo and it was like 'Holy crap!'" she said, describing the moment Bush touched her buttocks. "It was like a gentle squeeze."
At the time, the woman didn’t know what to do, so she just smiled for the camera. She says there were people all around them, but she doesn’t think anyone noticed anything amiss.
At the time, she says she decided "it was probably an accident.” She assumed it just happened because they were trying to get closer for the picture.
However, she said recent reports about groping allegations against the former president, now 93 and in a wheelchair, made her rethink that incident.
"All the focus has been on 'He's old.' OK, but he wasn't old when it happened to me," she told CNN. "I've been debating what to do about it."
At least six other women have brought similar allegations against the former president. They say he groped them during photo-ops between 2003 and 2016. The Michigan woman, who asked to not have her name published to avoid unwanted attention, is the first woman to say Bush touched her while he was still a sitting President of the United States.
CNN also spoke to the woman’s ex-husband and her best friend. Both of them remember being told about the incident soon after it happened.
"I remember her coming home and her saying he (Bush) said (to her father), 'Is that your daughter?' or 'Who's that with you?' and her dad said, 'It's my daughter,' and he said, 'Well, get her in the picture,'" the woman's ex-husband said. "She tried to write it off as 'move in closer’—but no, it wasn't. The hand definitely was across the butt. It wasn't across the waist."
The woman also shared a photograph of the moment with CNN.
Bush’s spokesman, Jim McGrath, declined to comment on this latest allegation. Earlier in the week, the former president was also accused of groping a 16-year-old girl.