'Saturday Night Live' women defend Sen. Al Franken after groping allegations


More than 30 women who worked with Sen. Al Franken on “Saturday Night Live,” defended the embattled lawmaker in an open later Tuesday, writing that while working with him “not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior.”

>> Read more trending news

The women, including former SNL cast members Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman, writers and producers, wrote that they felt “compelled to stand up for Al Franken” in the wake of allegations that he forced himself on Los Angeles news anchor Leeann Tweeden in 2006.

Franken apologized after Tweeden made her allegations public last week in a blog post for KABC.

>> Related: Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent

“What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms. Tweeden, and to the public,” the letter said.

“In our experience, we know Al as a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer, and an honorable public servant. That is why we are moved to quickly and directly affirm that after years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard.”

Franken worked on “Saturday Night Live” as a writer and a featured player from 1977 to 1980 and from 1988 to 1995.

Tweeden said last week that she was forcibly kissed by Franken, who was a radio host for Air America at the time, and groped in her sleep during a USO tour in 2006. She shared an image of herself sleeping as Franken’s hands hovered over her chest as evidence of the incident.

Franken apologized and called for an ethics investigation into the incident.

"I don't know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn't matter," Franken said in a statement released Thursday. "There's no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn't funny. It's completely inappropriate. It's obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture."

A second woman came forward Monday, accusing Franken of groping her as they posed for a photo at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair.

>> Related: Sen. Al Franken accused of groping woman in 2010

Lindsay Menz told CNN that Franken, “pulled me in really close, like awkward close, and as my husband took the picture, (Franken) put his hand full-fledged on my rear.”

In a statement to CNN, Franken said he didn’t remember taking the photo but that he felt “badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Pregnant woman killed by stray bullet near area popular with recreational shooters
Pregnant woman killed by stray bullet near area popular with recreational shooters

Kami Gilstrap, 24, who was struck by a stray bullet during a family outing in Arizona’s Buckeye desert on Jan. 14, has died from her injuries. Friends told AZFamily.com that Gilstrap was the wife of an airman stationed at Luke Air Force Base, and she had just learned she was pregnant with their first child. Buckeye is an area ...
Man accused of offering police $35,000 bribe to stop arresting him
Man accused of offering police $35,000 bribe to stop arresting him

The scene was strange from the start. DeKalb County, Georgia, police got a call Friday about a stolen Honda Fit spotted at Serenade Apartments on Flat Shoals Parkway. While officers looked over it and other suspected stolen cars parked nearby, someone kept pressing the clicker: locked, unlocked, locked, unlocked. Police say they confirmed...
Mom accused in 'torture house' case kept watchful eye on son at college, report says
Mom accused in 'torture house' case kept watchful eye on son at college, report says

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, are accused of shackling and torturing their 13 children, ages 2 to 29, for years. A new report underlined part of the relationship that the California couple had with at least one of their children. KABC reports that despite a lacking home education, the eldest son was permitted to attend...
Video shows children leaving alleged 'torture house' in California
Video shows children leaving alleged 'torture house' in California

Following their parents’ arrest, the Turpin siblings finally tasted freedom. A surveillance video shows the siblings exiting the house where they were allegedly held captive. One grown sibling is shown carrying one of the younger children while another sibling is seen running to the silver van in the driveway that would take them from the...
Cheesecake Factory's famous brown bread is headed to grocery stores
Cheesecake Factory's famous brown bread is headed to grocery stores

Cheesecake Factory fans rejoice! Starting this week, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the restaurant’s staples in the comfort of your own home. The chain has announced that it’s rolling out its popular brown bread to grocery stores nationwide. The bread will be available to customers for purchase in three different forms...
More Stories