Minnesota’s Democratic Senator Al Franken is accused of groping and sexually harassing radio host and former model, Leeann Tweeden.
Tweeden released a 2006 photo of Franken, who was not elected then, groping or pretending to grope her as she slept during a USO trip they both made. Tweeden says Franken, who was a comedian at the time, had written a skit for their USO show in the Middle East, which required him to kiss her.
She claims during rehearsals he repeatedly tried to kiss her even though she told him it was not necessary. She says he persisted and eventually put his hand on the back of her head, and jammed his tongue in her mouth.
Tweeden said she tried to avoid Franken for the rest of the USO tour, but he grabbed her breasts while she was sleeping and posed for a picture on the plane ride home.
She said, “I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep... Every time I hear his voice or see his face, I am angry.” Tweeden said that she did not report her experience at the time, and only told her husband about the incident.
She said that she was compelled to come forward after interviewing California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who said she’d been sexually assaulted as a young aide.
RELATED: Al Franken Apologizes for Groping Incident
Senator Al Franken has released a lengthy statement, apologizing directly to Tweeden.
He also said, "I respect women. I don't respect men who don't. And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed."
As far as the alleged forced kissing incident, Franken said, “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.”
Tweeden says that she has accepted Franken's apology, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell still says he believes the Ethics Committee should review the matter.
Franken has said he would welcome an ethics investigation.
FRANKENSTALKER? ANOTHER Alleged Victim Steps Forward
Conservative writer Melanie Morgan has come forward to tell her own experience with the onetime comedian, liberal radio host and activist.
Morgan’s disturbing encounter was sparked by a disagreement with Al Franken during an August, 2000 edition of ABC’s "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher.
Morgan and Franken had a dispute over the federal budget numbers.
After the show, Morgan said Franken wouldn’t leave her alone, insisting on continuing the argument.
“He approached me backstage, angrily called me out on those numbers and insisted he would prove he was right. He wouldn’t leave me alone, he kept following me. As a woman, his presence and proximity to me felt very threatening and intimindating.
“I didn’t realize his creepy behavior after the show meant it would continue in the days to come.
“He approached Carol, the show’s producer and demanded my home phone number, which was a clear violation of network protocol. I had thought that was the end of the story and was shocked when he started calling my home, badgering me repeatedly."
... “By the third phone call I was outraged and terrified, as he is really disturbed."
Morgan said Franken finally left her alone, but only after she pushed back and threatened “to call the police and make a report that he was harassing me.”