Sen. Franken denies groping charges: ‘it was clearly intended to be funny’

Future Democratic Minnesota senator Alan S. “Al” Franken horsing around with model Leeann Tweeden during their 2006 USO tour. (Photo courtesy of KABC)

Former Saturday Night Live writer and performer Sen. Alan S. “Al” Franken (D.-Minn.) dismissed the accusation by Leeann Tweeden that the senator had groped her–an accusation she shared with listeners of the “McIntyre in the Morning” radio show Thursday on Los Angeles’ KABC 790-AM.

“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 clearly intended to be funny but wasn’t. I shouldn’t have done it,” said Franken in a statement about the incident and revelation that has rocked Capitol Hill and forced Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D.-N.Y.) to cancel his 12: p.m. press conference on national security issues.

Tweeden, who is a regular on “McIntyre in the Morning” said she was on a 2006 USO tour in the Middle East with Franken, when the future senator insisted that the model practice their kiss for a skit he had written for the two to perform together.

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.’

He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.

He repeated that actors really 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.

I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.

I felt disgusted and violated.

Listen to the full segment when Tweeden tells KABC listeners about her experience with Franken here:



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