"Former US President George HW Bush has issued an apology to an actress who accused him of groping her from his wheelchair while attending a screening, according to reports.
Heather Lind, 34, said the incident occurred four years ago at an event to promote the TV series "Turn: Washington's Spies," according to the Daily Mail, which saved a screenshot of a lengthy Instagram post she wrote and later deleted.
Lind added she decided to share her story after seeing Bush Sr, 93, appear onstage at a benefit concert to raise money for victims of the hurricane-ravaged southern United States and Caribbean.
"I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served," she wrote.
"But when I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo.
"He didn't shake my hand. He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke,' she added.
Later on, as pictures were being taken, Bush repeated the act, while "Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ''not again.'"
In a statement circulated to the Daily Mail and the New York Daily News, a spokesman for Bush did not deny the allegation but said it was an ill-judged attempt at humor.
"President Bush would never -- under any circumstance -- intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind," the statement said.