A Los Angeles journalist and radio host, Leeann Tweeden, says Democratic Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed her during a 2006 USO tour. The host says Franken posed for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept.
Tweeden accuses Minnesota’s Franken in an essay on the website of California radio station KABC, where she anchors a morning talk show. Tweeden says Franken wrote a skit for the pair during a 2006 USO tour to the Middle East and insisted they practice a kiss during rehearsal.
Tweeden says she tried to resist but says Franken forced himself on her and stuck his tongue in her mouth.
In an email to KSTP, Franken responded: “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.”
According to Tweeden, the unwanted kiss occurred during rehearsal for a USO skit. She believes Franken (who was married) intentionally wrote a skit for the two of them so he would have an excuse to kiss her, something she did not want to do. She says that Franken insisted they rehearse until it got uncomfortable and she relented. This is when she alleges he “aggressively” shoved his tongue in her mouth:
He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.
I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn’t be so nice about it the next time.
I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.
I felt disgusted and violated. source
“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.
I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.
How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it’s funny?
I told my husband everything that happened and showed him the picture.”