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Sen. Al Franken Accused of Kissing, Groping Woman
KABC news anchor Leeann Tweeden has accused Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of vigorously kissing her against her will and later groping her while she was asleep while the pair were on a United Service Organizations (USO) tour together in 2006.
In an essay that KABC published on Thursday, Tweeden documented her experience on the tour in which she was drafted to take part in one of Franken’s skits.
“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,” she wrote.
Tweeden says Franken continually insisted that they rehearse the kiss before going on live in front of the crowd until she finally relented.
“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 wrote. “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.”
She also says that Franken groped her while she was sleeping — a fact she wasn’t even aware of until she got back home from the tour and was looking through photos.
“It wasn’t until I was back in the US and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw this one,” she wrote.
— Leeann Tweeden (@LeeannTweeden) November 16, 2017
Talking Points Memo says it has obtained a statement from Franken in which he apologizes for the photo, but says he doesn’t share the same memory of the kissing situation.
“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,” wrote Franken.