A US television actress has accused former President George H.W. Bush of touching her from behind while she was posing for a photo alongside him and telling her a dirty joke.
The former president's office has apologised and offered an explanation.
"At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures," according to the statement. "To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke - and on occasion, he has patted women's rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner.
"Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologises most sincerely."
People magazine reported that Heather Lind said in a now-deleted Instagram post that the incident took place while she was posing for a photo with Bush during a promotional tour.
In the post, Lind used the hashtag "#MeToo," the social media campaign in which individuals have shared their stories of sexual harassment and assault.
In the caption, Lind said, "He didn't shake my hand," she wrote. "He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, touched me again.