Former first lady Laura Bush on Wednesday called incidents in which her father-in-law, former President George H.W. Bush, allegedly groped women “very innocent.”
“I’m just sad we’ve come to this,” Bush told CNN. “That was something that was very, very innocent that he’s been accused of. But I know he would feel terrible. He would never hurt anybody.”
Last week, George H.W. Bush, 93, apologized through a spokesman “to anyone he has offended” in response to allegations from several women that he “patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner” during photo opportunities.
Laura Bush told CNN her own daughters “respect themselves and they expect respect from the people they associate with.”
“And I think that's what American women should do,” she said.
The allegations against Bush came to light shortly after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than a dozen women.
In the ensuing weeks, multiple famous men in a variety of industries have been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior, including journalist Mark Halperin and actor Kevin Spacey.