Former president George H W Bush accused of groping woman while in office

Rozina Sabur
Former President George H. W. Bush - AP

Former president George H W Bush has been accused of inappropriate behaviour while serving in office amid a series of allegations against him.

A 55-year-old woman has come forward to say Mr Bush grabbed her during a photo call at a re-election campaign event in 1992.

Mr Bush has apologised for behaviour he was accused of as an elderly former statesman, in part blaming his use of a wheelchair, but this is the first allegation of inappropriate behaviour while he was a serving president.

President Bush Speaking from the Oval Office in 1991 Credit: Wally McNamee 

The woman, who has asked not to be named, claimed she was attending a fundraising event in Dearborn, Michigan, with her father when the president grabbed her bottom. 

"We got closer together for a family photo and it was like 'Holy crap!'" she told CNN, describing the moment Bush touched her buttocks. 

"It was like a gentle squeeze."

She added that she told herself "it was probably an accident" until recent allegations of groping made against the former president caused her to reconsider.

"All the focus has been on 'He's old.' OK, but he wasn't old when it happened to me," she said.

She is the seventh woman to accuse the 41st US president of touching them during photo calls.

In recent weeks Actresses Heather Lind and Jordana Grolnick, author Christina Baker Kline, journalist Liz Allen and former politician Amanda Staples have all accused Mr Bush of groping them.

Former President George H.W. Bush Credit: AP

In response to previous allegations Jim McGrath, a spokesman for Mr Bush, said the former president apologised to "anyone he may have offended" but blamed his wheelchair for the impropriety.

“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,” said Mr McGrath.

“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."

Mr McGrath has not responded to requests for comment on this latest allegation, which is reported to have occurred while he was in office.