In a stunning op-ed published Thursday, sports commentator and radio news anchor Leeann Velez Tweeden revealed that then-comedian Al Franken “kissed and groped” her without her consent during a United Service Organizations tour in 2006, three years before he became a Democrat senator.
The USO is a nonprofit organization that organizes live entertainment for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Tweeden signed up for her ninth USO tour in 2006 with the assumption she would serve as an event emcee. But Franken had other plans in mind for her.
“Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them,” she wrote in her op-ed for Los Angeles radio station KABC, where she anchors the morning news. “Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.”
One of the skits included Tweeden.
“Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a ‘kiss,’” she explained. “I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.”
When the day of the show arrived, however, Tweeden wrote, Franken began harassing her, demanding she rehearse the kiss with him. After refusing his requests multiple times, she finally said “OK” so he’d stop pestering her.
That’s when this happened: “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,” her post continued. “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.”
Sadly, she wrote, Franken wasn’t done violating her yet. During their flight home, he had a photo snapped of himself groping Tweeden’s breasts as she was asleep:
— Leeann Tweeden (@LeeannTweeden) November 16, 2017
“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,” she wrote. “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?”
Because Tweeden feared potential backlash, she remained silent until Thursday, when — bolstered by the ongoing “#MeToo” campaign – she finally spoke out. Kudos.
Will anything come of this, though? Given the left’s relentless attacks on Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore over still-unproven allegations that he pursued sexual relationships with teenagers in his 30s, you’d think the left would pounce on Franken.
But you’d think wrong.
Here are some of the comments from The Huffington Post as of early Thursday afternoon:
Apparently, it’s perfectly OK to some Democrats when their political leaders sexually harass and/or assault women.
I guess this explains why the left never went after former President Bill Clinton.
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