The Democratic U.S senator and former comedian Al Franken has issued an apology after radio host Leeann Tweeden accused him of sexual assault.
In a blog post on 790 KABC, where Leeann works as a morning news anchor, the former model accused Senator Al Franken of kissing and groping her without her consent while they both worked on a USO Tour of the Middle East in 2006.
Tweeden said Franken, a former star of Saturday Night Live, insisted on practicing a skit in which he’d kiss her on the lips.
“I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd,” wrote Tweeden.
When Tweeden relented, after several requests from Franken, and rehearsed the skit, she said he grabbed her by the back of the head and forced his tongue down her throat.
Tweeden said she tried to avoid Franken for the rest of the USO tour, however, on the plane ride home, he grabbed her breasts while she was sleeping and posed for a picture.
“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” she wrote. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.”
Franken issued a statement on Thursday through a spokesman.
“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” he said. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
Franken has a long history of making sexual misconduct jokes. During a comedic roast of film director Rob Reiner, Franken laid out a scene where Reiner’s father, Carl, would invite famous friends over to rape his infant son.
The Democratic Senator brought up rape again in a 1995 New York magazine article where he was discussing a skit for SNL that involved drugging and raping CBS reporter Lesley Stahl.
“And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her,’” Franken said. “Or, ‘that’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘when she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”
Sounds like a fantasy plucked right out of Harvey Weinstein’s mind.