Roslyn Corrigan is the sixth woman to come forward with allegations that she was groped by former President George H.W. Bush when she was 16 years old, according to a new report.
An article in Time reported that Corrigan claims Bush, then 79, groped her during a photo op in 2003 at an event at the Central Intelligence Agency office in The Woodlands, Texas.
“My initial action was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” Corrigan said. “The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t have touched me like that?’”
Corrigan pointed out that she was very young at the time. “I don’t know, maybe it never really hit people that I was a child at the time and that goes beyond a guy being inappropriate in the workplace to a peer or somebody in his age range,” she said.
In a statement sent to Time, Bush’s spokesman, Jim McGrath, explained that the former president “simply does not have it in his heart to knowingly cause anyone harm or distress.”
“He again apologizes to anyone he may have offended during a photo op,” McGrath added.
Five other women have come forward with the same allegations.
Late last month, a former Republican candidate for Maine’s state Senate accused the elder Bush of groping her, and McGrath jumped to his defense.
“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,” McGrath explained after the allegations arose last month. “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. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate.”
He added, “To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”