Radio news personality Leeann Tweeden has accused Democratic Sen. Al Franken of kissing her against her will and groping her when the pair were on a visit overseas with United Service Organization.
Leeann Tweeden, who’s currently a news anchor for KABC in Los Angeles, wrote her story in a lengthy post to the radio station’s website Thursday. She said she met Franken in December 2006 prior to when he became a senator.
Tweeden says that the show the two put on for the military members overseas included a skit that he wrote where he kissed her. She described in detail that Franken insisted that the two rehearsed the skit backstage prior to going in front of the military personnel.
“He said to me, ‘We need to rehearse the kiss,’” she wrote. “I laughed and ignored him. Then he said it again. I said something like, ‘Relax Al, this isn’t SNL…we don’t need to rehearse the kiss.’”
Eventually, she said that she agreed to rehearse a line leading up to the kiss. After the line, though, she alleges that Franken “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 said that she pushed him away and let him know she “wouldn’t be so nice about it” if he ever did it again.
“I felt disgusted and violated,” she wrote.
In addition to the kiss, Tweeden posted a photo of Franken groping her while she appeared to be asleep on a military plane.
Tweeden’s trip overseas with the USO wasn’t her last, as she continuously traveled to greet the military members. That’s also how she met her husband, Chris Dougherty. He served as a military pilot and met her through a mutual friend.
Here’s what you need to know about Tweeden and Dougherty:
1. Tweeden Met Dougherty While She Was on a USO Tour
Tweeden told the story of how she met Dougherty to MilitarySpouse.com. The daughter of a retired Air Force chief mechanic, Tweeden had been involved with the military for some time, saying that her father “instilled a lot of pride in our country and for those that serve.”
Tweeden went on numerous USO tours beginning in 2002, where she met Tyler Thompson, who was the pilot of the C-130 she flew in during one of her trips. They became friends and stayed in contact, and Tweeden invited him to join her and her friends in Virginia in October 2004. Tyler asked if he could bring a friend, too.
“I told him, ‘Yes, bring him; any friend of yours is a friend of ours,’” she told the military publication.
That friend was Dougherty, and they were both in relationships at the time. But in two months, that changed and they sparked up a relationship.
On another trip overseas with the USO, she met up with Dougherty and Thompson where they were stationed. She asked for assistance in finding the pair once they landed and soon enough was greeted by Dougherty, who was assigned to be the pilot for her and comedian Robin Williams.
As the two struck conversation, she said that they discovered they were both single. After her trip, they kept in contact and started dating when he returned home from his deployment a few months later.
In 2008, Dougherty asked Tweeden to marry her, and their wedding was on July 4, 2010.
2. Tweeden & Dougherty Have 2 Children Together
The couple have a 4-year-old son (Kane) and 2-year-old daughter (Kaia) together. Nowadays, Dougherty has transitioned from active duty into the Air National Guard in California. Tweeden often posts photos of the family to her social media profiles, and they reportedly live together in Los Angeles.
3. Dougherty Has an Extensive Military Background
According to his military profile, Dougherty currently serves as a pilot for the California Air National Guard and has extensive background in education. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in human factors engineering before getting deployed overseas. He also attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he got his master’s degree in joint warfare in 2009. According to his profile, he also obtained a master’s degree in military arts and science from Air University in 2011.
Dougherty started working as an instructor pilot for the Air Force in 1996 and did so until 2006. He started working as a pilot for the California Air National Guard in 2010.
4. Tweeden & Dougherty Continue to Give Back to Military Personnel
According to the profile on Tweeden by MilitarySpouse.com, Tweeden continues to give back to the military to this day. Despite her busy schedule as a mother, model and radio personality, she still volunteers to speak at military bases across the country in addition to still making trips with the USO. Her and her husband also support the Boot Campaign, which provides programs for veterans and military families across the nation. She also makes visits to those wounded in action with the Wounded Warrior Project.
Upon sharing the news that Tweeden would be featured in the military publication, many members expressed excitement because of how genuine she’s been on her visits.
Navy Lieutenant Katie Easterly, who drove Tweeden around a military base on a visit, told the publication that she was “simply the most charming person.”
5. Tweeden Dated a Major League Baseball Pitcher Prior to Dougherty
Various media reports say that Tweeden has been linked to former World Series champion pitcher Josh Beckett. The couple dated for several months back in 2004 — Beckett was the person Tweeden was dating when she first met Dougherty — after meeting at Super Bowl 38 in Houston, Texas.
In an interview with FHM, Tweeden described — in great detail — her and Beckett’s sex life.
“My boyfriend knows how to hit the strike zone, he’s got a good change-up,” she told the publication. “We could go all day with this … he knows how to work the mound or the mounds.”
The interview reportedly “infuriated” Beckett, though, and the couple broke up shortly after the story was published in the magazine.