Some 36 women who worked with now-Senator Al Franken during his 20 years on the iconic late-night comedy show Saturday Night Live have signed a statement offering him their support in the wake of two groping accusations that have been made against him. Franken had issued a public apology after sportscaster and model Leeann Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her during a USO tour and posing for a picture in which he appeared to be groping her while she was asleep in 2006. Days later, Lindsay Menz, 33, came forward to allege that Franken had grabbed her butt during a photo op at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair. Franken has said that he doesn’t recall taking the photo with Menz, but added that “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”
“So my husband steps away from us to take the photo, I stand next to Senator Franken, and he pulls me into toward him and then he moves his hand to my butt. I was shocked,” recalled Menz during an appearance Wednesday on Good Morning America.
Three dozen of Franken’s former co-workers on SNL, including original SNL cast members Laraine Newman and Jane Curtin, have now come to the defense of the embattled senator, describing his behavior as “stupid and foolish,” but reiterating that during “years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each one of us with the utmost respect and regard.”
Speaking to The New York Times on Friday, Curtin implied that the charges against Franken were spurious.
“I’m just so upset about this atmosphere and good people being dragged into it,” said Curtin. “It’s just like the red menace. You don’t know who’s going to be next.”
Watch Menz’s appearance on GMA below.
Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.