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George H.W. Bush Apologizes to ‘Turn’ Star for Sexual Harassment

George Bush Sexual Harassment Turn Heather Lind
AMC / Al Bello, Getty Images

People across the entertainment industry have bravely stood up to reveal encounters with sexual assault, but the latest takes a … well, Turn. AMC star Heather Lind spoke out against an instance of harassment from George H.W. Bush, for which the elder ex-president has now apologized.

As Entertainment Weekly reports, a now-deleted Instagram post from Turn and Boardwalk Empire star Lind recounted that Bush “touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side” and told a “dirty joke” during a Turn photo shoot four years ago. Lind also explained that Barbara Bush and their security were dismissive of said harassment, and that she’d informed her castmates at the time.

Perhaps looking to get ahead of the issue, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath issued a statement to People that regrettably goes the “it was just a joke” route:

President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.

UPDATE: The Bush press office issued a more comprehensive statement on the matter that – good grief – someone actually thought this garbage response would help?

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.

Lind also noted in the post that she saw the confession as a positive step for change:

What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a President really. I can enact positive change. I can actually help people. I can be a symbol of my democracy. I can refuse to call him President, and call out other abuses of power when I see them. I can vote for a President, in part, by the nature of his or her character, knowing that his or her political decisions must necessarily stem from that character.

Turn wrapped its four-season run this past August. Stay tuned for any additional details of the incident with Bush in the meantime.

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