A 2006 photo of Senate giant Al Franken groping an LA radio host while she slept shocked the country in mid-November.Since then, however, seven other women have accused Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, of groping or forcible kissing, pointing to a pattern of sexual misconduct, including after he took office in 2009.This week, when the eighth woman came forward, Franken’s colleagues finally started to react, and 32 Democratic senators called for his resignation on Wednesday.
“I have been shocked and disappointed to learn over the last few weeks that a colleague I am fond of personally has engaged in behavior toward women that is unacceptable,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the first to call for Franken to step down.Franken is expected to address the Senate on Thursday at 11:45 a.m. local time. Watch that live here.Here’s a timeline of all eight women’s allegations:
Tweeden, an L.A. radio host, wrote in a blog post on Nov. 16 that Franken forcibly kissed her during a rehearsal for a United Service Organizations (USO) skit in 2006. Franken was a comedian at the time and not yet in office.“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 wrote. “I felt disgusted and violated.”She also included a photo of herself sleeping on an aircraft wearing body armor and a helmet, while Franken appears to be touching her breasts as he looks mischievously toward the camera.
Four days later, on Nov. 20, another allegation against Franken surfaced, this time about an incident that happened after he became a senator. Menz told CNN that Franken put his hand on her butt while they posed for a photograph at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
Another woman spoke to the Huffington Post, anonymously for fear of online retaliation, just two days after Menz came forward, on Nov. 22. She said that Franken groped her butt during a photo op at an event hosted by Minnesota’s Women’s Political Caucus in Minneapolis in 2007.
A second woman, who also spoke on condition on anonymity for professional reasons, told HuffPost that Franken “cupped her butt with his hand” at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis and suggested that they “visit the bathroom together.”“My immediate reaction was disgust,” she told HuffPost. “But my secondary reaction was disappointment.”
Kemplin, an Army veteran, told CNN on Nov. 30 that Franken touched her breast during another USO tour in Kuwait in 2003.“I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself flushed. And I remember thinking, ‘Is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand?’” she said. “He never moved his hand.”
A former elected official of a New England state told Jezebel on Nov. 30 that Franken tried to give her a “wet, open-mouthed kiss” onstage during an event in 2006, one year before he announced his Senate run. “It was onstage in front of a full theater,” she said. “It was insidious. It was in plain sight and yet nobody saw it.”
Former New England elected official
This week on Dec. 6, the former aide told Politico that the senator tried to “forcibly kiss her” after a taping of his radio show in 2006. She said that she ducked to avoid him and that, as she tried to leave the room, Franken told her: “It’s my right as an entertainer.”
Former Democratic congressional aide
The following day, Dupuy, a former congressional staffer, wrote an op-ed in The Atlantic titled “I believe Franken’s accusers because he groped me, too.”Her encounter took place at a Media Matters party during the first Obama inauguration, in January 2009. As she posed for a photo with Franken, she recalled that he “immediately put his hand on my waist, grabbing a handful of flesh. I froze. Then he squeezed. At least twice.”