Democratic Senator Al Franken apologizes for forcibly kissing former Playboy model and GROPING her while she slept during 2006 USO tour in Afghanistan – and she says there might be a SECOND accuser

Thursday, November 16, 2017
By Paul Martin

California morning radio host Leeann Tweeden says now-Senator Al Franken groped and forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in Afghanistan
Tweeden was then a cover model who had appeared in Playboy, Maxim and FHM; Franken was an aging comedian and one of Saturday Night Live’s first writers
Tweeden writes that the Harvey Weinstein era has empowered her to speak out about the episodes that made her feel angry and powerless in 2006
Franken was photographed grabbing her breasts while she slept about a troop transport airplane
She also says he forced his tongue into her mouth when she expected to be rehearsing a scene where they would fake a ‘kiss’ for the audience
‘I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,’ Franken said at first in a tepid statement
He later offered a more direct apology in a longer statement
Tweeden says she accepts the apology but has gotten a phone message from a second woman who describes an experience similar to hers
Senate Republican leaders are calling for the Ethics Committee to review the case, and Franken says he’ll cooperate

16 November 2017

Democratic U.S. Senator Al Franken apologized Thursday to a model-turned-radio host whom he groped and kissed without consent during a 2006 USO tour.

Franken is the latest in a long line of high-profile men to face a sexual assault accusation, after TalkRadio 790 KABC morning host Leeann Tweeden wrote of her experiences and published a photo that shows Franken grabbing her breasts while she was asleep on a military aircraft.

She says Franken forced his tongue into her mouth when she expected to be rehearsing a scene where they would fake a ‘kiss’ for the military audience.

After hearing of his apology, Tweeden said during a press conference that ‘people make mistakes. I’m not calling for him to step down. That’s not my place to say that.’

But she hinted that if other women were to come forward with similar stories, that may change.

‘I’ve gotten a phone call from a woman that has – I’ve only gotten a message – that says something similar has happened to her. And I haven’t returned it yet. So that’s to be determined. I don’t know,’ Tweeden said.

Accusations from the radio host, who was a 23-year-old model at the time of her allegations, could send Franken into the same reputational basket with Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, movie producer Harvey Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K. and actor Kevin Spacey.

‘The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women,’ Franken wrote in a statement hours after Tweeden went public.

‘There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing – and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine – is: I’m sorry.’

‘I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t,’ the accused government groper added. ‘And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.’

He specifically addressed the photo, shot as the USO performance troupe headed home the day before Christmas in 2006.

‘For instance, that picture. I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter.

There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture,’ Franken added.

The Rest…HERE

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