While allegations of sexual misconduct against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) have continued to escalate, Monday evening the New York Post released newly discovered pictures taken during a photo-shoot for a magazine in 2000.
The pictures are of Franken and Arianna Huffington, the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, in several suggestive poses, with Franken’s hands clearly seen grabbing Huffington on her breasts or buttocks.
PageSix quotes an unidentified source from the photo-shoot insisted that Huffington wasn’t appreciating where Franken was placing his hands.
“Franken was clowning around, but it really isn’t funny,” said the source. “That’s his tactic, pretend like it’s all a big joke. Arianna was pushing his hands away. He was groping her. There was some fun attached to it, but she wasn’t enjoying it. She definitely told him to stop and pushed him away.”
Huffington denied that anything was amiss during the photo-shoot, however, saying it was similar to a TV sketch they did together in 1996. Her statement included the following:
“The notion that there was anything inappropriate in this photo shoot is truly absurd. Al and I did a comedic sketch for Bill Maher’s ‘Politically Incorrect’ called ‘Strange Bedfellows,’ in which the whole point, as the name makes clear, was that we were doing political commentary from bed. This shoot was looking back at the sketch, and we were obviously hamming it up for comedic effect. I’ve been great friends with Al and his wife Franni for over 20 years and there has never been anything remotely inappropriate in our interactions.”
During a 2014 book launch, Huffington said, “The biggest thing I did in my career was in 1996, when I went to bed with [Franken] for a comedy bit called ‘Strange Bedfellows.’ ”
The butt-grabbing during photo-shoots wasn’t appreciated by everyone, however, as a new accuser came forward Monday, reporting that she asked Franken to take a picture with her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, during the time he was already a senator.
Lindsay Menz told CNN that while her husband, Jeremy, prepared to take the photo, Franken “pulled me in really close, like, awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear.”
Below is a sampling of the photos with Arianna Huffington.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 21, 2017