Sen. Al Franken apologized Thursday after a Los Angeles radio show anchor said that he had forcibly kissed her and later groped her on a 2006 USO tour, and said that he would "gladly cooperate" with an Ethics Committee investigation into his actions.
"He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss".
She said she felt "disgusted and violated" but didn't report it because "we were in the middle of a war zone" and "I didn't want to cause trouble". When it came time to rehearse the skit, she wrote, Franken insisted on kissing despite her protestations. Tweeden also posted a picture in which Franken is shown grinning into a camera with his hands on a sleeping Tweeden's breasts. "Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated", she wrote. "Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated. How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it's amusing?" she wrote, adding that she was too afraid to come forward before because she was anxious doing so would affect her career. She also shared a photo to back up her story that appears to show Franken Groping her, something he did not deny in a statement issued in response to her claims.
In a statement to Bustle, Franken says he does not remember the incident and that the photo was meant to be amusing.
Franken said he intended for the photo to be amusing, but it wasn't.
Leeann Tweeden and Al Franken at the military event.
Tweeden held a press conference Thursday afternoon and spoke more about the allegations. "Franken repaid me with petty insults, including drawing devil horns on at least one of the headshots I was autographing for the troops", Tweeden said. "People make mistakes and of course he knew he made a mistake".More news: Butch Jones' time as Tennessee football coach is over
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Franken issued an initial apology on Thursday morning. "Maybe I can be somebody's Jackie Speier and they can tell their story in real time and not wait". It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate. "We have no knowledge of it".
"The behavior reported today is unacceptable and deeply disappointing".
Senate Democrats reacted swiftly and with one voice to the allegation that came as Republicans are grappling with allegations of molestation against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama.
Moore, 70, has denied the accusations and said he was the victim of a witch hunt. Martin said the party supports an ethics investigation.
Franken's Democratic Senate colleagues Claire McCaskill and Kirsten Gillibrand both expressed deep concern about the allegations. "The ethics investigation, if that's what [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell wants to do, that's on them". She had fallen asleep and a photographer captured an image of Franken acting as if he were touching her breasts.
"Nothing like that is ever amusing", she said.
He released the memoir "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate" in May, where he wrote about having to suppress his comedic instincts in him in order to be taken seriously as a politician.
"I didn't socialize with him, I didn't talk to him for the rest of the tour", Tweeden told reporters.