Al Franken Accused of Sexual Assault, How Much Could The Allegations Cost?

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A local TV station, KABC, made a shocking allegation this morning. According to anchorwoman Leeann Tweeden, Al Franken sexually assaulted her during a USO tour in December 2006. Here's waht Tweeden wrote about the incident:

In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a 'little piece of home' to servicemembers stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.


As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

When I saw the script, Franken had written a moment when his character comes at me for a 'kiss'. I suspected what he was after, but I figured I could turn my head at the last minute, or put my hand over his mouth, to get more laughs from the crowd.

On the day of the show Franken and I were alone backstage going over our lines one last time. He said to me, "We need to rehearse the kiss." 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.'

He continued to insist, and I was beginning to get uncomfortable.

He repeated that actors really need to rehearse everything and that we must practice the kiss. I said 'OK' so he would stop badgering me. We did the line leading up to the kiss and then he 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.

I immediately pushed him away with both of my hands against his chest and told him if he ever did that to me again I wouldn't be so nice about it the next time.

Al Franken Faces Serious Allegations

These are extremely serious allegations. However, the legal issues surrounding the incident are extremely murky. Given that the alleged incident occurred physically outside of the U.S. (although on a military base), the jurisdiction issues get complicated. The military may have some jurisdiction based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice. However, the country in which the incident allegedly took place may have some jurisdiction as well.

A bigger question, however, is whether there are other people who may come out making similar assault claims. According to The Squander, Al Franken earns about $500,000 per year, including his Senate salary.

He has a total net worth of around $9.5 million.

If a few women were to sue Franken and win, that money could be quickly dissipated. Of course, his job in the Senate would be in question as well.

We will have to wait and see what Franken has to say about these accusations, and if there are any other women who are waiting to come out.