Heather Lind: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Actress Heather Lind attends ‘AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies’ screening and panel discussion on June 15, 2017 in New York City.

Heather Lind, a Hollywood and Broadway actress who stars in the AMC historical drama Turn: Washington’s Spies, is accusing former President George H.W. Bush, the nation’s oldest living president, of sexual assault, alleging that Bush touched her inappropriately from his wheelchair while allegedly telling her a “dirty joke” in front of his wife, Barbara.

Lind, 34, lodged the accusation against the 93-year-old former president on Instagram but wrote that the alleged incident occurred four years ago. She accompanied her accusations with the hashtag #metoo, joining the legions of women across the United States who have used the hashtag to publicly allege that they were victims of sexual harassment or abuse. Actress Alyssa Milano started the #metoo trend on Twitter in the wake of the sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Heavy has reached out to Lind and a representative of Bush but has not yet received comment.

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Here’s what you need to know:


1. Lind Accused Bush Sr. of Touching Her ‘From Behind From His Wheelchair’ With His Wife at His Side

I was disturbed today by a photo I saw of President Barack Obama shaking hands with George H. W. Bush in a gathering of ex-presidents organizing aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes. I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo. But when I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo. He didn’t shake my hand. 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. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say “not again”. His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo. We were instructed to call him Mr. President. It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy. He relinquished that power when he used it against me and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me. What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a President really. I can enact positive change. I can actually help people. I can be a symbol of my democracy. I can refuse to call him President, and call out other abuses of power when I see them. I can vote for a President, in part, by the nature of his or her character, knowing that his or her political decisions must necessarily stem from that character. My fellow cast-mates and producers helped me that day and continue to support me. I am grateful for the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences. And I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George H. W. Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him. #metoo

A post shared by Heather Lind (@heathergibs) on

In the lengthy Instagram post, which she posted on October 24, 2017, Lind alleges that the former president’s wife, Barbara Bush, was present and rolled her eyes. Lind shared a photo of Bush Sr. in his wheelchair shaking hands with Barack Obama during a gathering of ex-presidents designed to help with hurricane disaster relief. She wrote that she does not respect Bush Sr., and she felt compelled to speak out after running across the photo of Bush Sr. and Obama. Here is her post in full:

I was disturbed today by a photo I saw of President Barack Obama shaking hands with George H. W. Bush in a gathering of ex-presidents organizing aid to states and territories damaged by recent hurricanes. I found it disturbing because I recognize the respect ex-presidents are given for having served. And I feel pride and reverence toward many of the men in the photo. But when I got the chance to meet George H. W. Bush four years ago to promote a historical television show I was working on, he sexually assaulted me while I was posing for a similar photo. He didn’t shake my hand. 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. Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say “not again”. His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo. We were instructed to call him Mr. President. It seems to me a President’s power is in his or her capacity to enact positive change, actually help people, and serve as a symbol of our democracy. He relinquished that power when he used it against me and, judging from the comments of those around him, countless other women before me. What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a President really. I can enact positive change. I can actually help people. I can be a symbol of my democracy. I can refuse to call him President, and call out other abuses of power when I see them. I can vote for a President, in part, by the nature of his or her character, knowing that his or her political decisions must necessarily stem from that character. My fellow cast-mates and producers helped me that day and continue to support me. I am grateful for the bravery of other women who have spoken up and written about their experiences. And I thank President Barack Obama for the gesture of respect he made toward George H. W. Bush for the sake of our country, but I do not respect him.
#metoo

Both the former president and his wife have been ill and hospitalized in recent months. In January 2017, Bush was placed in intensive care in the hospital after he complained of shortness of breath.  Barbara Bush was also briefly hospitalized. However, both Bushes recovered from that health scare. Bush Sr. has been somewhat active on social media in recent months, meeting with veterans and opining about the crisis in Puerto Rico.

He has not yet commented on Lind’s allegations. This post will be updated if a comment is received from the former president’s team.

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2. Top Industry Professionals Wrote to Back Lind’s Account Up

heather lind

Heather Lind.

Some top industry professionals wrote under Heather Lind’s comment on Instagram in an attempt to back her up. They alleged that they were there when the incident occurred. Joel Stillerman was named Hulu’s chief content officer in May 2017. He wrote, “As you know, Heather, I was there. It was a terrible moment for you, but you were strong then, and you are strong now. In the wake of all the recent news, everyone who has been proximate to an incident like this has had to contemplate whether their response was appropriate. I’m sorry you had to live through that, and I hope the groundswell of awareness around this issue makes it harder for perpetrators to act like this, and easier for victims and bystanders to call it out when it occurs. Stay strong.”

mama noir.

A post shared by Heather Lind (@heathergibs) on

Other actors who were on the Turn have voices support for Lind. The response to her post from others has diverged greatly and, in some cases, along political lines. However, some people on her Instagram comment thread have criticized her politically, questioned why she didn’t share the story earlier, or, in other cases, are applauding her for courage and bravery.

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Craig Silverstein, the executive producer/showrunner for Turn, wrote under the Heather Lind Instagram post, “I was there. Probably ten feet away. I remember watching your eyes bulge in shock. The cameras snapping away. We all learned what happened about five minutes later and were shocked. I remember seeing you in the alcove of the theater doors, trying to collect yourself afterwards. I think it’s incredibly brave of you to share this.”


3. Heather Lind Has Posted Political Comments in the Past

Heather Lind has spoken out about politics on social media. On Instagram, Gibbs posted a photo of Hillary Clinton with the caption “#yaaaskween 💋” She also posted a photo of Gloria Steinem’s book “My Life on the Road,” writing, “Recommended reading/re-reading for all in this moment. The power of MOVEMENTS. The strength of ORGANIZING. The evidence of PROGRESS. The respect for BALANCE. And the offering MEMORY has for us as we strive for PEACE. (It will make you feel better, I promise.) ❤️””

#yaaaskween 💋

A post shared by Heather Lind (@heathergibs) on

She also has a Twitter page, but her recent posts are mostly about her acting role on AMC’s Turn. She wrote more about politics during the presidential campaign season. In 2016, she retweeted someone else’s comment that said, “Sorry, Trump and Pence. There’s nothing more “broad shouldered” than a power pants suit. #VPDebate.” Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Lind wrote on Twitter, “yes take a breath #hill. take a breath. #debatenight #Debates2016 #HillaryClinton.” On November 9, 2016, she wrote that she had registered to volunteer for Planned Parenthood, saying, “Registered to volunteer for @PPFA to help support #womensrights in my city! #backtowork🇺🇸.”

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4. Heather Lind Plays the Character Anna, a Spy, in the Historical Drama

heather lind

Actress Heather Lind attends the Premiere of AMC’s Turn: Washington Spies at New York Historical Society on April 20, 2016 in New York City.

On television, Lind plays a Revolutionary War-era spy. According to the AMC description for Turn, “TURN: Washington’s Spies takes viewers into the stirring and treacherous world of the Revolutionary War and introduces Abraham Woodhull who, after aligning with a group of childhood friends, forms the Culper Ring — America’s first spy ring.” The show’s website describes Lind’s character Anna Strong by saying, “Anna, a.k.a. ‘The Signal of Setauket,’ is the heart of the four friends comprising the Culper Ring—ready to do whatever is necessary for the cause.”

Heather Lind got her start on Broadway in theater productions, according to the show biography for her. “Heather Lind’s first role on Broadway was opposite Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice, for which she won the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut,” the biography reads. “She previously played the role when the production originated at the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park, where she also starred in A Winter’s Tale. She also starred as Eliza Doolittle opposite Robert Sean Leonard in Pygmalion at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Television credits include a recurring role on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, for which Lind won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series, and she costarred opposite Sam Rockwell in the independent film A Single Shot.”


5. Lind Attended New York University & Fordham College

According to the show biography, Heather Lind “was most recently seen in Jean Marc Vallée’s Demolition, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, and in Mistress America with Greta Gerwig, directed by Noah Baumbach. Her recent stage appearances include starring in Incognito and Of Good Stock at the Manhattan Theater Club.”

She “attended Fordham College at Lincoln Center and received her MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting Program,” the biography notes. According to IMDB, Lind was born in Pennsylvania but raised in New York. “Raised in Guilderland, New York., her father was a painter and an educator at a museum and her mother was a ballet and nursery school teacher. Both are retired,” the site reports.

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Lind is an identical twin. Her sister, Christina Bennett Lind, is also an actress. Heather Lind’s twin is “an actress and producer, known for All My Children (1970), Calico Skies (2016) and End of the Innocents (2011),” according to IMDB.

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