Leeann Tweeden, a model and radio personality, claims that Senator Al Franken sexually assaulted her and she has pictures to back her story.
Tweeden posted a lengthy article where she explained that almost 11 years ago she flew to the Middle East with several celebrities including Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, Keni Thomas and Franken to entertain the troops.
RIP Hef. Many memories over the years. Last time I actually saw Hef, my husband and I were invited to the mansion for dinner & a movie. Hef had movie night every week but this was the first time I ever went. My December 2011 cover was currently on the newsstands, so I brought a copy for him to sign. (That's what I'm holding in my left hand in the first picture.) Ironically, the movie that night was J. Edgar…and afterwards Hef told us that Hoover had a file on him and the magazine for years. I said, 'who was the poor agent that was assigned your case?!' ??? Some guy had to read every single magazine cover to cover each month. Tough life. ? The second photo was from one of the epic Midsummers Night Dream parties at the mansion back in '97 or '98. For a long time, it was THE party everyone wanted to get into in LA. All the biggest celebrities were there…those were some fun times! The third picture is from a shoot I did for the Best Damn Sports Show. We held a boxing event on the mansion grounds and Hef came out with his Girls Next Door girlfriends at the time to do a pre-fight interview. He was deaf in one ear, so you always had to talk to him on one side and talk loudly. He was a pioneer, an icon…a man who blazed his own trail. It's the end of an era! #hef #hughhefner #playboy @hughhefner @playboy
She began her post: “In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam, and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.”
Tweeden went on to say that Franken prepared a skit that included sexual innuendo and wanted her to take part in it.
This is what happened next: “Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.”
She said the comedian turned politician wanted her to rehearse the kiss and added: “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.’
Tweeden claimed that Franken made her uncomfortable with his behavior.
She wrote: “He repeated that actors need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said ‘OK’ so he would stop badgering me. 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.”
— Leeann Tweeden (@LeeannTweeden) November 16, 2017
Tweeden later found photos where Franken was touching her breast and was shocked.
She confessed: “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 thinks it’s funny?”
Franken has apologized, and like President Donald Trump or U.S. Senate candidate Roger Moore, he said he does not recall the incident.
NEW FRANKEN STATEMENT pic.twitter.com/c3puSkK9Ts
— Sam Stein (@samstein) November 16, 2017
He stated: “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 intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it.”
After getting blasted for the first apology, Franken released a second one.