BREAKING: Woman Alleges Sen. Al Franken Groped, Kissed Her Without Consent, Produces Photo
A reporter has accused Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken on Thursday of groping her and kissing her without her consent in 2006 while she was on a USO Tour overseas.
Leeann Tweeden, who is now a morning news anchor on TalkRadio 790 KABC in Los Angeles, posted her story in a lengthy post on the station’s website.
Tweeden described the harassment as being part of a script for a USO skit where Franken wrote where he’s supposed to kiss her.
She writes that Franken repeatedly insisted they rehearse the kissing scene despite her protests. When she relented, Franken, “put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”
“Senator Franken, you wrote the script,” Tweeden wrote. “But there’s nothing funny about sexual assault.”
“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” Tweeden writes. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.”
The post does not address whether Franken was reached out to for comment in advance of publishing and includes no comment from Franken or his office.
In a statement to reporters, Franken said he doesn’t remember the forced kissing, but said he shouldn’t have conducted his behavior as he did in the photo.
“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” Franken said. “As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
She also included a photo in which Franken appears to grab Tweeden’s breast while she’s asleep.
Tweeden said she’s coming forward now after hearing testimony from women — including California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier — who have shared similar stories of men in power who have committed sexual harassment and sexual assault.