An eighth woman has come forward claiming that the former US president George HW Bush groped her.
An interpreter, who the BBC agreed not to name due to the sensitive nature of her job, claims Bush touched her inappropriately in 2004.
The incident allegedly took place at a meeting between the former president and the Spanish defence minister Jose Bono Martinez.
The BBC reports:
The interpreter has not previously spoken publicly about the incident.
“It was 2004,” she told the BBC. “Spanish troops had been withdrawn suddenly from Iraq and I was working as an interpreter in Spain.”
Jose Zapatero’s Socialist Party unexpectedly won the general election in March of that year.
The incumbent US president, George W Bush, was nearing the end of his first term in office. His relationship with Mr Zapatero was markedly frostier than the warm rapport he had enjoyed with the Spanish prime minister’s conservative predecessor.
George HW Bush, the president’s father, was hunting in Spain so, with an interpreter, Mr Martinez was sent to meet him armed with a gift – a pair of hunting rifles.
The interpreter would not disclose the contents of the meeting, citing confidentiality concerns. But media reports suggest Mr Martinez was hoping to enlist Mr Bush’s help in establishing greater communication between the US president and the Spanish prime minister.
‘He grabbed my bum’
It was at the photo call after the meeting had finished when the alleged incident occurred.
“When the time came to take the photos, Mr Bush insisted on me being in the photo,” the interpreter said.
“I remember thinking this was odd. Usually we stay outside of the frame.
“He grabbed my bum. At first I thought it was an accident, but then he did it a second time.”
Her story is similar to other allegations made against Mr Bush. Another woman, Roslyn Corrigan, told the publication Time that Mr Bush touched her inappropriately in 2003, when she was 16. On Thursday, CNN reported allegations from a 55-year-old woman who said Mr Bush touched her inappropriately in April 1992.
In October, a spokesman for Mr Bush, Jim McGrath, acknowledged that Mr Bush had “on occasion… patted women’s rears in what he intended to be in a good-natured manner”.
Mr McGrath partially blamed Mr Bush’s use of a wheelchair. “His arms fall on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures,” he said.
The interpreter told the BBC that Mr Bush was standing during the alleged incident.
Mr Bush did not start using a wheelchair until around 2012, roughly eight years after the interpreter says the incident took place.
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