ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Los Angeles radio host says Democratic Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed her during a 2006 USO tour. The host says Franken posed for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept.
Leeann Tweeden accuses Minnesota’s Franken in an essay on the website of California radio station KABC, where she anchors a morning talk show. Tweeden says Franken wrote a skit for the pair during a 2006 USO tour to the Middle East and insisted they practice a kiss during rehearsal.
Tweeden said she tried to resist but says Franken forced himself on her and stuck his tongue in her mouth. A copy of the photo is posted with the article.
“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,” she wrote, “I felt disgusted and violated.”
Tweeden said no one saw what happened backstage, and she didn’t tell the Sergeant Major of the Army, who sponsored the tour, because she didn’t want to cause trouble, “I was a professional, and I could take care of myself,” she wrote.
Tweeden, who is also a news anchor on “McIntyre in the Morning” on KABC Radio in Los Angeles, said they had a California Congresswoman on the show, telling her story of being sexually assaulted, which was when Tweeden thought about Franken doing the same to her.
Following the interview, Tweeden decided to speak up and tell her story, “I want the days of silence to be over forever.”
Franken released a statement, apologizing to Tweeden, “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.”
Watch: Leeann Tweeden discusses the sexual assault allegations: