Woman Alleges Al Franken Groped Her, Shares Photo

Leeann Tweeden describes alleged 2006 assault
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2017 11:21 AM CST
Woman Alleges Al Franken Groped Her, Shares Photo
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington on July 12, 2017.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A radio host and former Playboy playmate says Sen. Al Franken assaulted her—and unlike some women coming forward with similar tales about other high-profile figures, Leeann Tweeden offered proof. In a first-person account at KABC, Tweeden says she was groped in December 2006 when she and the Democratic senator from Minnesota, then a comedian, were on a plane ride home from the Middle East, where they'd entertained troops as part of a USO tour. As she slept, Tweeden says Franken groped her breasts in a moment that was caught on camera. "It wasn't until I was back in the US 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.

Earlier in the trip, Tweeden says Franken had also kissed her without her consent as the pair were rehearsing a skit. Franken decided their characters would kiss and "mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth," Tweeden writes. "I felt disgusted and violated" and "wanted to shout my story to the world with a megaphone," she continues. "But even as angry as I was, I was worried about the potential backlash and damage going public might have on my career as a broadcaster," Tweeden writes. But "I've decided it's time to tell my story. #MeToo," she tweeted. Franken apologized Thursday but says he remembers the skit rehearsal differently, per the Hill. "As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't," he says. "I shouldn't have done it." (More Al Franken stories.)

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