Another woman has stepped forward to accuse Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of sexual misconduct. This sixth accuser is a former elected official in New England.
On Thursday, the unnamed woman said Franken inappropriately kissed her in the months before he announced his Senate campaign, which came in early 2007.
Speaking to Jezebel, she claims that she was asked to be a guest on Franken’s Air America radio show, as she had been working on her town’s board of selectmen in 2006.
Following the interview, the woman alleges that Franken extended his hand to her, a signal she took to mean he wanted a handshake.
“He took it and leaned toward me with his mouth open. I turned my head away from him and he landed a wet, open-mouthed kiss awkwardly on my cheek,” she said.
According to the accuser, she was left “stunned and incredulous.”
“I felt demeaned. I felt put in my place,” she explained. “It was onstage in front of a full theater … It was insidious. It was in plain sight and yet nobody saw it.”
Wishing to remain anonymous because she wants to be “associated with my own accomplishments” and “not publicly linked to a man’s bad behavior,” she made her allegations public because she believes Franken should take responsibility for the alleged incident.
In addition to the unnamed woman, five other women have accused Franken of groping, sexual harassment, or sexual assault in recent weeks. They include:
- Leeann Tweeden – Franken’s first accuser, who said she wanted to come forward to pave the way for others who were assaulted, claimed Franken “groped” her while she was sleeping. They were on a military plane, returning from a USO tour in 2006. The alleged incident was captured in a photograph. She further claimed he forcefully tried to put his tongue in her mouth during a kiss they were practicing for a skit.
- Lindsay Menz – She accused Franken of groping her when they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
- Anonymous Accuser Number 1 – According to the Huffington Post, on June 25, 2007, at a Minneapolis event, Franken had begun his senatorial bid when the woman claims, “[Franken] grabbed my buttocks during a photo op.”
- Anonymous Accuser Number 2 – Huffington Post also spoke to this accuser, who said Franken cupped her buttocks during a Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis in 2008. Allegedly, he further suggested they visit the bathroom together.
- Stephanie Kemplin – The Army veteran told CNN that Franken touched her breast in 2003. She said at the time, she was deployed in Kuwait and that the alleged groping had occurred during a photo op.
On Wednesday, some of the women who have made allegations against former President Bill Clinton, including Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, and Leslie Millwee, went to see Franken in his Capitol Hill office. They were joined by Melanie Morgan, a journalist who says Franken harassed her 17 years ago.
The group stormed Franken’s office on Capitol Hill to demand that he resign, and live-streamed the incident on social media.
Franken has apologized for past mistakes, vowed to be more careful, and denies making the sexual advances.
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