An Army vet claims Al Franken assaulted her amid his tour with the USO in 2003, when he was a comedian, by groping her while posing for a photo.
Stephanie Kemplin, who was stationed in the Middle East during Al Franken’s currently infamous tour to entertain the troops, is the 5th woman to blame Al Franken of sexual harassment in the past few weeks, and the third to do so on the record.
Stephanie Kemplin, 41, reveals to CNN that during Al Franken’s visit she lined up to take a photo with the Saturday Night Live writer and that he touched her inappropriately.
“When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast,” Stephanie Kemplin told CNN. “I’ve never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side.”
Kemplin did not say anything to Al Franken at the time, but remembers thinking that “It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident.”
“I remember clenching up and how you just feel flushed,” Kemplin said. “And I remember thinking — is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand.”
She says she didn’t tell any fellow soldiers about the incident but has discussed it with multiple family members. “I was in a war zone… You were on a USO tour,” Stephanie Kemplin said, referring to Al Franken. “Are you trying to boost the morale of the troops or are you trying to boost your own? I just feel so sorry for that young girl in that picture.”
Stephanie Kemplin, who was honorably discharged according to CNN, told that she was likewise assaulted by a fellow service member before her photo with Al Franken, yet did not uncover the details of that incident.
During the same 2003 USO tour with Al Franken, news anchor and former model Leeann Tweeden says Franken forcibly kissed her during a rehearsal and later took a photo of him touching her chest while she slept.
Al Franken reacted to the allegations briefly on Nov. 24. “I feel terrible that I’ve made some women feel badly and for that, I am so sorry, and I want to make sure that never happens again,” Al Franken told CNN.
“Some women have found my greetings or embrace for a hug or photo inappropriate, and I respect their feelings about that,” Franken said. “I’ve thought a lot in recent days about how that could happen, and recognize that I need to be much more careful and sensitive in these situations.”