Anchorwomen Leeann Tweeden Accuses Sen. Al Franken Of Sexual Assault
Anchorwomen Leeann Tweeden has accused Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of sexually assaulting her while the two were overseas entertaining the troops in December 2006.
In a post to the KABC website, Tweeden said that Franken had written a skit in which his character attempts to kiss her. “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.”
However, backstage before they were set to perform Franken suggested that the two “rehearse.”
“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 continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.”
Tweeden says that she eventually conceded and agreed to rehearse the scene, “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.”
Tweeden says that she then pushed Franken off of her and exited the room in search of the nearest bathroom in order to “rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.” She says afterwards that she felt “violated” and “disgusted.”
Tweeden said she had not informed the Sargent Major of the Army, who sponsored the tour, or the USO rep because she feared that disclosing such information would jeopardize the two-week event.
Franken, who was elected to Senate in 2008 and reelected in 2014, describes in his book how he was first inspired to seek a run-in politics after his time spent overseas in 2006.
Mitch McConnell today called for an Ethics Review of Franken and his past actions, which Franken has agreed to cooperate with fully.
Franken late Thursday also issued an apology via Facebook and Twitter.
I want to apologize to Leeann Tweeden, to everyone who was part of the USO tour, to all who’ve worked for me, to all I represent, & to all who’ve considered me an ally & supporter & champion of women. I am sorry. https://t.co/vrLCIcggg6
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) November 16, 2017
To read Leeann Tweeden’s full letter click here.