05:12 GMT +327 March 2019
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    Senator Al Franken

    US Senator Accused of 'Groping, Kissing' TV Host Without Consent

    © AFP 2019 / MANDEL NGAN
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    As women around the world share stories of sexual harassment in their personal and professional lives, a US news anchor, Leann Tweeden, has accused US Senator Alan Stuart Franken of groping and kissing her without her consent.

    Leeann Tweeden, the morning news anchor on TalkRadio 790 KABC in Los Angeles, has come forward saying that she was “kissed and groped” by Alan Stuart Franken during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour to the Middle East in December 2006. 

    Tweeden shared her story in an article for KABC.com.

    Before Franken became a senator he was a writer and comedian who wrote a script for a skit for a USO show in Afghanistan. Tweeden was the headliner for the show.

    During a rehearsal for the skit, Franken tried to kiss Tweeden despite her rejections while they were alone backstage.

    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,” Tweeden said.

    She further said that she pushed Franken and walked away from him, seeking a bathroom “to rinse the taste of him out of my mouth.”

    “I felt disgusted and violated,” Tweeden wrote in her article on KABC.com.

    The news anchor said she made sure she was never alone with Franken again on the tour, but it didn’t end there.

    Tweeden posted a photo that she says shows a moment when she had passed out from exhaustion on the tour, still wearing her flak vest and Kevlar helmet as they were flying back on a C-17 cargo plane from Afghanistan and Franken groped her while she was asleep.

    ​“I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep,” Tweeden wrote. “I felt violated all over again. Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated.”

    She said that she wanted to go public with her story, but was afraid, however, now after seeing other victims coming forward with their accounts she decided to let the world know.

    Tweeden’s allegations caused a Twitter storm with people expressing shock over the allegations.

    ​Some social media users, however, felt that Tweeden is trying to get her “limelight moment” by sharing this incident.

    ​Though there were others who encouraged and comforted her with their supportive words.



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