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A second woman has come forward with a sexual misconduct claim against Al Franken, this time when the comedian was an elected official.
Lindsay Menz, 33, told CNN that Sen. Franken grabbed her behind while taking a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, two years after the Democrat was elected to the Senate.
Menz’s husband, who supported his wife’s claim to CNN, took the photo. Franken “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear,” Menz said. “It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.” She said the “brazen” act lasted three to four seconds: “I was like, oh my God, what’s happening.”
Franken said he didn’t remember taking the photo but that he felt “badly” that Menz felt disrespected. “I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken said in a statement. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.” THR has reached out for additional comment.
Menz, who decided to speak out after Leeann Tweeden’s allegation against Franken went public last week, said, “You just feel gross. Like ew, I want to wash that off of me.”
In the photo of Menz and Franken, the lower halves of their bodies are not shown.
A woman tells CNN that Al Franken grabbed her buttocks while she was taking a photo with the sitting US senator in 2010. Franken says he doesn’t remember the photo and feels “badly” that she felt disrespected. https://t.co/MlOuFCqKai pic.twitter.com/yHTbGR34gC
— CNN (@CNN) November 20, 2017
Menz made it clear that she did not compare her experience to Tweeden’s.
Tweeden, a Los Angeles ABC radio anchor, went public about a 2006 incident with Franken, who was then a Saturday Night Live star and comedian. She said he allegedly sexually harassed her, kissing and groping her without her consent during a USO tour. She provided a now widely seen photo of Franken touching her inappropriately while she was sleeping as evidence.
Franken issued three apologies to Tweeden, two public and one private, and said he planned to cooperate with an ethics investigation into his behavior should one come about. Amid bipartisan calls for an ethics inquiry, with some calling for his resignation, Franken has also been edited out of PBS’ upcoming broadcast of David Letterman: The Mark Twain Prize.
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