A fourth woman accused former President George H.W. Bush of sexual harassment, claiming he touched her inappropriately while she was seeking a seat in Maine’s Senate.
Amanda Staples was running as a Republican for the Kennebunkport area’s Senate seat in 2006 when she visited Bush at Walker’s Point. She recalled the meeting in an Instagram post, explaining that the former President hoped she would help lower taxes if she nabbed the seat.
Like other women who have recently come forward, Staples said Bush “grabbed my butt and joked and said, “Oh I’m not THAT President” while they were taking a picture together.
She said she initially “rationalized it” — telling herself “that he became a dirty old man in his later years” — but added she couldn’t “help but share” in light of recent events.
Staples allegations come after three other women accused the 93-year-old of the same behavior.
Amanda Staples (pictured) is the fourth woman to accuse former president George H. W. Bush of sexual assault. Staples alleges that Bush groped her during a photo opportunity in 2006, when she was 29, in Maine when she was running for the Republican senate seat in Kennebunkport.
Actress Heather Lind, 34, in a since-deleted Instagram post said Bush groped her while posing for a photo four years ago. New York actress Jordana Grolnick quickly followed suit, telling Deadspin Bush touched her backside after cracking the “David Cop-a-feel!” joke.
Author Christina Baker Kline became the third accuser with a first-person essay for Slate. She claimed Bush grabbed her backside — again during a photo op — while her husband stood next to him.
Bush’s spokeman, Jim McGrath, released an apology on behalf of the former president.
“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,” the statement reads. “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 good natured fun.
“Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Buch apologizes most sincerely.”
The photo Staples featured on her Instagram — screengrabebd by the Press Herald — sees her and the Republican standing side-by-side, calling into question Bush’s initial explanation for his questionable behavior.
“I’ve thought about this and if I had a daughter, I’d never tell her to shrug it off because he was president,” Staples wrote. “I can only imagine how many women have had their butt grabbed in a photo op.”
With News Wire Services