TV anchor says photo proves Senator Al Franken groped her

Senator and former SNL writer Al Franken accused of sexual misconduct after photo surfaces of his inappropriate advances to TV anchor .

David Rosenberg,

Minnesota Senator Al Franken
Minnesota Senator Al Franken
REUTERS

A television news anchor has accused one of Minnesota’s two Democratic senators of sexual harassment – and says she has the photographic evidence to back her claimp.

On Thursday, KABC anchor Leeann Tweeden accused Senator Al Franken of groping her while she was asleep and forcibly kissing her during a USO tour for US soldiers stationed in the Middle East in December, 2006.

As evidence of her claims, Tweeden publicized a photograph showing Franken reaching his hands towards Tweeden’s inappropriately while she was asleep.

According to Tweeden, Franken, a former Saturday Night Live writer and actor, had asked Tweeden to join him for some of his skits in front of the soldiers.

"When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss’. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd," Tweeden wrote.

"On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, 'We need to rehearse the kiss.' I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’"

"He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.”

"I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time."

After she returned home, Tweeden was given the photograph which had been taken while she was asleep, showing Franken standing over her and reaching his hands out towards her inappropriately

In a statement Thursday, Franken claimed that he did not recall the incidents “in the same way”, adding that the photograph was merely a joke. Franken also offered an apology.

“I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it.”

Franken during 2006 USO tour Twitter

KABC anchor: Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It https://t.co/lG4A1ZTUhC pic.twitter.com/EYIzr9ok2s

— Meridith McGraw (@meridithmcgraw) November 16, 2017



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