Woman Claims George H.W. Bush Groped Her During a Photo Op When She Was 16

Former president accused of squeezing teenager's behind

By Samantha Schnurr Nov 13, 2017 6:16 PMTags
George H. W. Bush Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

Another woman has come forward with groping allegations against former President George H.W. Bush

In a new report from TIMERoslyn Corrigan claims the 41st president of the United States groped her buttocks while they took a photo together with Corrigan's mother at an event in November 2003. At the time, Corrigan was 16 years old. 

In a statement, Bush's spokesperson Jim McGrath told E! News, "George Bush simply does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone distress, and he again apologizes to anyone he offended during a photo op."

Describing her initial reaction as "absolute horror," she told TIME, "The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn't say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, 'Hey dude, you shouldn't have touched me like that?'"

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According to Corrigan, she had been visiting The Woodlands, Texas, office of the Central Intelligence Agency with her father, Steve Young, and mother, Sari Young. At the office, Bush spoke to agency personnel and members of their families before the mother and daughter got the opportunity to take a picture with the former president, who also had formerly served as Director of Central Intelligence. 

"As soon as the picture was being snapped on the one-two-three he dropped his hands from my waist down to my buttocks and gave it a nice, ripe squeeze, which would account for the fact that in the photograph my mouth is hanging wide open," Corrigan alleged to TIME. "I was like, 'Oh my goodness, what just happened?'"

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While Corrigan claims she told her mother after Bush stepped away, they ultimately did not take action. "But, you know, it's the president. What are you supposed to do?" Young told TIME. "And you've got your husband's job that could be in jeopardy. I mean, you just didn't then. You should—you should have always spoken up, always—but we didn't."

Corrigan reportedly told the story to friends and her ex-husband over the year, but this is the first time she's sharing the story publicly. 

Last month, actress Heather Lind accused Bush of touching her from behind and telling her a dirty joke during a photo op in 2014 while he was seated in a wheelchair next to her. In response, Bush's spokesperson said in a statement, "President Bush would never—under any circumstance—intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind." 

Author Christina Baker Cline and actress Jordana Grolnick have also publicly accused Bush of groping their behinds. 

In response to their allegations, spokesman said in a statement, "At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women's rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely."