Democrat Senator Al Franken has apologized for groping a California model as she slept during a USO tour in Afghanistan in 2006. Franken, 66, is the latest celebrity or high profile figure to be accused of sexual misconduct since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October.
California morning radio host Leeann Tweeden says Franken grabbed her breasts while she slept on a military aircraft.
She produced a photo that shows Franken grabbing her breasts when she was a 23-year-old model during a USO tour.
She said he also forced his tongue in her mouth while they rehearsed a scene where they would fake a 'kiss' for the military audience.
"People make mistakes. I'm not calling for him to step down. That's not my place to say that," said Tweeden during an afternoon press conference on Thursday.
She said the incidents occurred before Franken was elected senator.
Franken spoke about the damning photo in a statement hours after Tweeden went public.
"I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter. There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture."
Tweeden said she accepted his apology years ago, but she hinted more women might come forward.
"I've gotten a phone call from a woman that has – I've only gotten a message – that says something similar has happened to her. And I haven't returned it yet. So that's to be determined. I don't know," she said.
Tweeden said she kept the abuse a secret because Franken was a powerful man in Washington and she feared the accusation might cost her her job.
The accusations prompted lawmakers to call for Franken to step down from the Senate.