Al Franken apologizes after radio anchor says he forcibly kissed her, took lewd photo


Sen. Al Franken is the latest person to be accused of sexual misconduct, in this case by a female radio host who worked with him as part of a USO tour to entertain the troops in Afghanistan.

Leeann Tweeden, who is a radio news anchor based in Los Angeles, wrote about what she says was her experience on KABC's website this morning.

READ: Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There's Nothing Funny About It

She claims that in 2006, when Franken was a comedian and not yet a senator, he insisted on kissing her as part of a rehearsal for an act. He later groped her while she was asleep on a plane, she also claimed.

Franken, who was elected as a Democratic senator for Minnesota in 2009, responded to the accusations in a statement this morning.

"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," he said.

Tweeden said she and Franken traveled to Afghanistan to entertain U.S. troops stationed there.

"On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, 'We need to rehearse the kiss.' I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, 'Relax Al, this isn't 'SNL' ... we don't need to rehearse the kiss.' He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable," she wrote in her KABC piece.

She said she acquiesced "so that he would stop badgering me" and when he kissed her he "put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth."

"I felt disgusted and violated," she wrote.

The alleged groping incident occurred while Tweeden appears to have been asleep on the plane back to the U.S. She says she was unaware of what allegedly took place until after she had arrived home and was looking through the CD of photos that the photographer on the trip had given her.

The picture shows Tweeden apparently asleep while wearing a helmet and military vest, and Franken looking at the camera while appearing to place his hands on her breasts.

"I couldn't believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep," Tweeden wrote. "I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated."

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