When it was first reported that former President George H.W. Bush had “sexually assaulted” actress Heather Lind, it was said that Bush grabbed Lind inappropriately and told an off-color joke. Now it’s being revealed that the Bush joke was actually about the inappropriate grabbing — a fact that makes it clear Bush knew he was crossing the line. Bush apparently routinely grabbed women’s derrieres while asking: “Do you know who my favorite magician is? David Cop-a-feel.” Haha. (David Copperfield is a famous magician; Bush could have also asked what his favorite Charles Dickens novel was, one supposes.) What’s perhaps even more shocking than that Bush, who is 93, was grabbing women and joking about it (there is a long history of certain behavioral regulators being dulled in nonagenarians) is that Bush was doing it in front of plenty of people including his wife and the secret service. He exhibited this behavior in plain sight, over a long period of time, and they evidently didn’t think to tell him to stop. The Bush camp issued a statement apologizing for what seems like years of this behavior.
New statement from George H.W. Bush: pic.twitter.com/ePlLQyIDvt
— Breanne Deppisch (@breanne_dep) October 25, 2017
Now a New York actress named Jordana Grolnick says the same thing happened to her. It’s surely just the beginning of multiple revelations, as Bush’s own statement seeks to prepare people for. “I’m afraid that [my story with Bush] is entirely similar [to Lind’s],” she says, according to Deadspin. Bush spokesperson Jim McGrath’s statement didn’t reference the joke specifically: “At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”