Leeann Tweeden Shares Picture of Al Franken Grope

Peter Castro
November 17, 2017

Tweeden said she's coming forward now after hearing testimony from women - including California Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier - who have shared similar stories of men in power who have committed sexual harassment and sexual assault.

U.S. senator and former comedian Al Franken has issued an apology after being accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent. When reading her part, she realized that she should kiss with the comedian and supposed that she could improvise and avoid it, but the day of the presentation she was cornered by Franken who was insisting on "practicing" the kiss.

"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", Tweeden wrote.

Leeann Tweeden, who works for Los Angeles radio station KABC said the incident happened in December 2006 during a USO tour.

Franken has responded to radio anchor Leeann Tweeden's accusations about the USO trip, apologizing for a photo that appears to show him grabbing her breasts while she slept. "It wasn't until I was back in the USA and looking through the CD of photos we were given by the photographer that I saw this one", Tweeden says of the photo, which shows Franken grinning, his hands on Tweeden's clothed breasts.

"We're not going to fix the problems of sexual harassment and assault until men take responsibility for their actions and change their behavior", said the MA senator, who has recently collaborated with Franken for several advocacy videos about specific policy issues.

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Franken apologized to Tweeden in a statement but said that he does not "remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way".

Despite her need to report it, the anchor confesses she didn't do it because of the fear of reprisals and the consequences it could bring to her career.

Angry but anxious about what going public might do to her career, Tweeden didn't speak out at the time. On the flight home from Afghanistan she says she was exhausted and fell asleep.

An article in the March 1995 issue of "New York" magazine contained a fly-on-the-wall account of Franken in the "Saturday Night Live" offices, where he worked as a comedy writer and performer for 15 years. It isn't amusing. It's completely inappropriate. "I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them".

"I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter", he said in a brief statement, calling the claims "credible". She also accused Franken of kissing her against her will. "I think the tide is turning, and what about all the women who don't have microphones and a voice and can say something and it's all over the news?"

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer agreed the Ethics Committee should investigate.

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