ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/CBS) — U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois said there should be an Ethics Committee investigation of their Democratic colleague U.S. Sen. Al Franken, after a Los Angeles radio host accused him of kissing her without consent and touching her breasts while she was asleep.

Leeann Tweeden posted the allegations, including the photo, on the website of KABC, where she works as a news anchor for a morning radio show. Tweeden said that Franken sexually harassed her in 2006 while the two were on a tour in the Middle East to entertain troops.

Duckworth called Franken’s actions “simply unacceptable” and said the Senate Ethics Committee should conduct a review.

“Women across America should be able to feel safe in their workplace, and they deserve our support when coming forward with allegations of misconduct,” she said.

Durbin also said the allegations should be referred to the Ethics Committee.

“There is never an excuse for this behavior—ever. What Senator Franken did was wrong,” Durbin said.

Tweeden said, during a USO tour in 2006, Franken told her he wrote a skit for the pair that included a kiss and that despite her protests he insisted they practice the kiss during rehearsal.

“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,” she wrote.

According to Tweeden, Franken kissed her without consent while rehearsing the skit. Later, a photo was taken of Franken shown grinning and staring at the camera while reaching out as if to grope Tweeden’s breasts as she sleeps. Tweeden said she didn’t discover the photo until she returned home.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she wrote. “He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep.”

Tweeden said she is sharing her story now to encourage victims of sexual assault to speak out immediately and not keep their stories to themselves, CBS Minnesota reports.

About an hour after her article was posted, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken apologized.

Franken apologized for the picture, although in his statement he claimed his memory of the skit rehearsal doesn’t match Tweeden’s.

“While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” he said.

Franken said he was requesting an ethics investigation, and pledged to cooperate.

“I don’t know what was in my head when I took that picture, and it doesn’t matter. There’s no excuse. I look at it now and I feel disgusted with myself. It isn’t funny. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me,” Franken said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to join him in pressing for a review.

“Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable— in the workplace or anywhere else,” the Kentucky Republican said.

According to Minnesota law, Gov. Mark Dayton would be responsible for appointing a replacement should Franken choose to resign, with a special election to follow in 2018. Franken’s term lasts until 2020.

McConnell’s statement comes as Senate Republicans have called for Alabama GOP candidate Roy Moore to step aside in the face of allegations he molested two women decades ago. McConnell had led the call. Moore has dug in, saying the allegations are false.

Speaking on her radio show Thursday morning, Tweeden said she didn’t come forward with the allegations sooner because she feared her career, including a stint as a swimsuit model, would lead others to discount her story.

“I felt belittled. I was ashamed. I’ve had to live with this for 11 years,” she said on-air. “Somehow it was going to be my fault. It was not going to be worth the fight.”

Franken is a longtime comedian and “Saturday Night Live” writer who won a Minnesota seat in the U.S. Senate after a lengthy recount in 2009.

He drew criticism during his first Senate campaign for joking about rape while discussing a sketch idea during his days on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Franken said then that he regretted some of the things he had written, and said he respected women “in both my personal and professional life.”

Franken becomes the latest person swept up in sexual harassment allegations that have mushroomed since Hollywood figure Harvey Weinstein was hit with multiple allegations.

Tweeden said the surge of people coming forward with their own experiences of sexual harassment or assault encouraged her to go public with her account about Franken.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.))

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