Ex-President George H.W. Bush has issued a second apology to “anyone he has offended” after a second allegation of assault emerged.
Jordana Grolnick told website Deadspin George Bush Sr. groped her in 2016 after announcing his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-Feel”.
Another actress, Heather Lind, had already come forward to say George Bush Sr. had “touched me from behind”.
The former president’s spokesman said it was supposed to put people “at ease”.
In a statement supplied to media outlets, the spokesman said: “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.”
Like Heather Lind, Jordana Grolnick shared a photo of the moment the alleged assault took place on social media platform Instagram.
The picture, taken during the interval of a play Jordana Grolnick was performing in, appears to show George Bush’s hand on her bottom.
The actress told Deadspin: “He reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, <<Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?>>
“As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, <<David Cop-a-Feel!>>”
Heather Lind made a similar allegation against George H.W. Bush, who served one term as president starting in 1989, saying he had “touched me from behind from his wheelchair” and told a “dirty joke” while posing for a photo in an Instagram post which has since been deleted.
The incident allegedly took place during an event in 2014 for the TV show Turn: Washington’s Spies, in which Heather Lind is one of the main cast members.
Heather Lind finished her post with the hashtag #metoo, which has seen widespread use by victims of assault to share their experiences in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein Hollywood scandal.
In his initial apology, George Bush’s spokesman said the wheelchair-bound former president “most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms Lind”.
George H.W. Bush, the father of former President George W. Bush, who served two terms in the office between 2001 and 2009, suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease.