A woman has accused Sen. Al Franken of inappropriately touching her in 2010 as she was taking a photo with him at the Minnesota State Fair. Lindsay Menz told CNN that she wanted to share an “uncomfortable” interaction that left her feeling “gross.” Menz reached out to the network after California radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden said Thursday that Franken forcibly kissed and groped her in 2006, when Franken was a comedian.
Menz told CNN she was at the Minnesota State Fair with her husband and father in 2010, two years after Franken was elected to the Senate, and posed for a photo with him.
As her husband held up her phone to take the photo she said Franken “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 told CNN. “It was wrapped tightly around my butt cheek.”
“It wasn’t around my waist. It wasn’t around my hip or side. It was definitely on my butt,” she said, adding the incident lasted three or four seconds.
Franken told CNN in a statement that he did not remember taking the photo with Menz and that he felt “badly” that she felt disrespected. “I take thousands of photos at the state fair surrounded by hundreds of people, and I certainly don’t remember taking this picture,” Franken told the network. “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”
Menz revealed the incident at the time on Facebook.
Franken apologized to Tweeden and faces a potential investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee over her allegation.