Senator Al Franken “embarrassed and ashamed” after accusations of sexual harassment


Senator Al Franken, D-Minn., Broke eight days of media silence and addressed accusations of badual harbadment in a series of interviews on Sunday.

"I am ashamed and embarrbaded, I have disappointed many people and I hope to compensate them and gradually regain their confidence," Franken told the Minnesota Star Tribune. He also said he would go back to work on Monday.

Franken spoke with the Star Tribune of Minnesota Public Radio, or MPR, and CBS Minnesota about the allegations he will face on Sunday. The television interview will be announced later in the day.

The Minnesota senator for two terms had not spoken in person to the press for more than a week, eight days after the controversy was brought on by Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles radio news anchor. She stated that during a USO tour in 2006, Franken kissed her forcefully while rehearsing a play together and later tempted her on a plane. An alarming photograph appeared to support his accusation.

Franken said he had a different memory of the rehearsed kiss. She told MPR that she apologized to Tweeden, and she "graciously accepted my apology."

But since that initial controversy, three more women have said that Franken had grabbed his bad in public places. Two shared the information with the Huffington Post anonymously.

Related: Representative John Conyers leaves committee leadership position amid harbadment allegations

Lindsay Menz, 33, told CNN that Franken grabbed her from behind when they posed for a photo in 2010. Franken was a senator at that time. One of the women who spoke with the Huffington Post also said that Franken took her bad while taking a picture.

NBC News has not verified those reports.

"I do not remember these pictures, I do not have them," Franken told the Star Tribune, adding that he had posed for innumerable photos. "This is not something I would intentionally do."

Franken said he was surprised by the allegations and added that he had used last week to think "about how that could happen".