KABC radio host Leeann Tweeden says that Senator Al Franken groped her in 2006, when Franken was a comedian and the two were on a USO entertainment tour. Tweeden tells the story on the KABC website:
As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.
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.
According to Tweeden, Franken, saying they needed to “rehearse” the part, forcibly kissed her when the two were alone backstage.
Later on in the tour, Franken groped Tweeden while she was asleep — and Tweeden includes a photo of the act. “I couldn’t believe it,” Tweeden writes. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.”
Franken has responded to the report in a statement. “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,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell called for an investigation of Franken by the Senate Ethics Committee. “As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this,” McConnell said. “Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable — in the workplace or anywhere else.”