Tweeden described the harassment as being part of a script for a USO skit where Franken wrote where he's supposed to kiss her. It is not clear from the photo whether Franken touched her, but Tweeden said he had. She said Franken kissed her aggressively while they were rehearsing a skit they would perform in front of a group of USA soldiers.
Mr Franken, a former Saturday Night Live writer, apologised for the grope.
"To say I was sorry for writing a joke was to sell out my career, to sell out who I'd been my entire life", Franken said.
Franken has apologized to his accuser, broadcaster Leeann Tweeden, and said he would cooperate with an investigation. "I shouldn't have done it". He apologized to the Los Angeles anchor and said he regretted a posing for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept.
But no matter what happens in Alabama, the Franken revelations shows once again that while conservative Republican men may be more prone to justifying piggish and predatory behavior toward women, just as they have a cavalier if not hostile attitude toward women's rights, sexual harassment and assault occur all over the partisan and ideological spectrum. "He groped me without my consent while I was asleep", she said. "I shouldn't have done it", he said. "As I recall, that was fine for our grandmothers".
The woman who accused Sen. "Or, 'That's why you never see Lesley until February.' Or, 'When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her'".
"The apology, sure, I accept it. People make mistakes, of course he knew he made a mistake".
Tweeden said that after the incident, she avoided being alone with Franken for the rest of the USO tour but that he tried to "belittle" her.
Top Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), backed on Thursday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) call for a Senate ethics investigation into the recent sexual assault allegations against Sen. During Thursday's press conference, she said Franken saw her and her husband a few years later at a gala and he tried to initiate a conversation with her.
"I understand why we need to listen to and believe women's experiences", he said. "If there are other people who come out and say he's done this, I don't know". "Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable - in the workplace or anywhere else".