A third woman is speaking out and accusing former President George H.W. Bush of groping her.
As she details in a Slate article, Christina Baker Kline was invited to be a guest author at a Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy fundraiser in April 2014. After eating at the event, Kline was invited to take photos with President Bush and others, and Kline and her husband accepted.
She approached Bush, who was seated in a wheelchair, to take the photos and she says the following exchange took place:
"Hello," Kline said. "It’s truly an honor to meet you."
"You’re beautiful," Bush replied.
"Thank you," she said.
"You’re a writer."
"You wanna know my favorite book?" he whispered. I had to lean close to hear him.
"Yes, what is it?"
As he said that last line, Bush allegedly squeezed Kline’s behind. She swiped his hand away, but the photo was taken at almost the exact moment. She shared the photo in her Slate article.
Kline described what happened after the incident took place. According to her, a woman who "introduced herself as a friend of the Bush family was waiting to drive [Kline and her husband] back to the hotel." But Kline couldn’t keep the story to herself. She told her husband what happened, and that’s when the driver turned around and looked at the couple and said something she will never forget. "I do trust you will be…discreet," she said.
"Her comment wasn’t menacing. But in that moment I thought: 'She has heard this before. The people around President Bush are accustomed to doing damage control. There must be many of us,' I remember thinking. And now I know there are," Kline writes.
“At the very moment when I was feeling honored to be recognized for my work and to raise money for this important organization that I believe in, President Bush made clear to me that because I am a woman, I can be objectified, sexualized, reduced to a body part,” Kline wrote.
"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. 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. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely."