This lady ^^ is Heather Lind. Lind is an actress, possibly best known for her work on AMC’s Turn, about the Revolutionary War. Four years ago, Lind and some of the cast of Turn got to meet former president George H.W. Bush, aka Bush the Elder. H.W. is currently 93 years old, so he would have been 89 years old back then. H.W. has been in a wheelchair for years, and he’s had major health issues for… what? At least a decade. Well, when Lind met Bush the Elder, he sexually assaulted her TWICE from his wheelchair and told her a dirty joke. And now he’s apologizing.
George H. W. Bush has apologized to an actress who accused him of sexually assaulting her while they posed for a photograph together four years ago. The actress, Heather Lind, wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post that she was standing next to the former president when he “touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side.” Lind also alleges Bush told her a “dirty joke.”
The 93-year-old apologized to Lind in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. The former president’s spokesman Jim McGrath said in the statement, “President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”
Lind, who starred in AMC’s TURN: Washington’s Spies, wrote in the caption of her Instagram which featured a photo of former Presidents Barack Obama and Bush shaking hands in a gathering of other former presidents, that this image had “disturbed” her.
“I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served,” she wrote. “And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo. But when I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo. He didn’t shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again.”
Lind continued, writing, “Barbara [Bush] rolled her eyes as if to say “not again”. His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo. We were instructed to call him Mr. President. It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy.”
“What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a President really,” she added. “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.”
She wrote that her AMC castmates knew about the alleged assault because she told them, and that she decided to come forward because of “the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences.”
I believe her. I believe her because in my experience, there are a lot of men that age – especially men with health problems – who don’t even bother with a thin veneer of decency and respect. I’ve had old dudes in wheelchairs make inappropriate comments about my breasts, my body, my mouth. They tell dirty, gross jokes because they can, because they think they can get away with it because (frankly) they have one foot in the grave. The idea of Barbara Bush rolling her eyes at Bush the Elder as he assaults a young woman… well, I believe that too. I’m sure Heather Lind deleted the Instagram because conservative dudes were attacking her, and I’m sure there were some people who were like “hey, he’s old, you shouldn’t say anything.” Bullsh-t.
Photos courtesy of Getty.