Woman Accuses Al Franken Of Groping Her During 2010 Photo Op

Cheriss May/SIPPL Sipa USA

Another woman accused Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) of sexual misconduct Monday, telling CNN that the senator grabbed her butt while the two took a photo together at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

Lindsay Menz told CNN in an interview published Monday morning that she met Franken in the summer of 201o at the state fair and posed for a picture with him after a brief conversation. When her husband went to snap the photo, the senator “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, he put his hand full-fledged on my rear,” Menz said.

“It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek,” she told CNN. “It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt.”

In a statement to CNN, Franken said he feels bad that Menz felt “disrespected” but said he did not recall taking the photo.

“I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken said in the statement. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

Menz is the first woman to accused Franken of sexual misconduct while he was a sitting senator. Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her and groping her in 2006, before he took office as a senator. Franken apologized to Tweeden but also said he didn’t remember the incident “in the same way.” The senator called for the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate that incident and said he would fully cooperate.

Menz’s family recalls her relaying the story to them immediately after the picture was taken. Both of her parents told CNN that Menz told them that Franken grabbed her butt while taking the picture. Her husband, who took the photo, told CNN that Franken pulled his wife close to him for the photo.

“He reached around her and kind of pulled her into him,” Jeremy Menz told CNN. “He pulled her in and pushed his head against her head. It was over pretty quick.”

Read CNN’s full report here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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