United States 41 President George H.W. Bush is facing allegations that he squeezed a teenager’s buttocks in 2003.
In an interview with Time magazine published Monday, Roslyn Corrigan said she was 16 years old when Bush, then 79, touched her inappropriately at a November 2003 event in The Woodlands, Texas, office of the CIA, where her father had gathered with fellow intelligence officers and family members to meet Bush.
Corrigan told the magazine Bush groped her buttocks as she and her mother, Sari Young, posed for a photograph with the former president.
“As soon as the picture was being snapped, on the one-two-three he dropped his hands from my waist down to my buttocks and gave it a nice, ripe squeeze, which would account for the fact that in the photograph my mouth is hanging wide open,” Corrigan told Time, her first public interview about the incident. “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, what just happened?'”
“My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” Corrigan said. “The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t have touched me like that?’
Corrigan’s account is similar to those shared by at least three other women who say they were touched inappropriately during photo ops with the former president. The magazine spoke with seven people, including Corrigan’s family members and friends, who confirmed that they had been told of the alleged groping incident prior to the other recent allegations.
Jim McGrath, a spokesman for Bush, issued an apology on the former president’s behalf in the wake of this latest allegation.
“George Bush simply does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone distress, and he again apologizes to anyone he offended during a photo op,” McGrath said.
In statement released last month in response to the previous allegations, McGrath noted the president’s advanced age and his physical limitations.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”