Poker World Knew Leeann Tweeden Long Before She Outed Al Franken

Poker World Knew Leeann Tweeden Before She Outed Senator Al Franken as Sexual Miscreant

November 17th, 2017 by Jon Sofen

Sexual assault is no laughing matter. But comedian turned US Senator Al Franken left people shaking their heads as they learned that the liberal leader was the latest person you can add to the list of offensive sexual predators, after former “Poker After Dark” hostess Leeann Tweeden went public with her story of being groped by the then Senate candidate during a 2006 USO tour of the Middle East.

Leeann Tweeden poker hostess

Leeann Tweeden, seen here as hostess for the NBC Heads Up Championship, said she harbored anger and disgust for Sen. Al Franken for more than 10 years before going public with her story. (Image: NBC/YouTube)

On Thursday, Tweeden shared her story of being on the receiving end of the Minnesota Democrat’s sexual misconduct, detailing how he attempted to trick her into kissing him before he aggressively “stuck his tongue” down her throat uninvited.

Dominating News Narrative

Her recollection of sexual assault shook the political world and became a dominant news story of the day. A day when previously people were talking about Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, and numerous women who were coming forward to accuse him of inappropriate behavior when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.

Tweeden, now a morning radio host for KABC 790 in Los Angeles, wrote on her station’s website:

“At the time I didn’t want to cause trouble. We were in the middle of a war zone, it was the first show of our Holiday tour, I was a professional, and I could take care of myself. I told a few of the others on the tour what Franken had done and they knew how I felt about it. I tried to let it go, but I was angry.”

Tweeden also shared a photo showing Franken placing his hands above her breasts while she slept on a military transport plane wearing a flak jacket. She said she was inspired to come forward about the incident after interviewing California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who was a victim of a similar sexual assault on Capitol Hill.

Franken apologized for his behavior, and called on the Congress to open an ethics probe into the situation. Tweeden, who did not join a chorus of people calling for the senator to resign, said she accepted his apology, and believed it was sincere, albeit many years too late.

“People make mistakes. I’m not calling for him to step down. That’s not my place to say that,” Tweeden said. 

Bustout Interviews

Growing up in Manassas, Virginia, Tweeden eventually moved to Los Angeles to chase her dream of modeling and acting.

She soon earned a gig as co-host on the former popular sports talk show, “The Best Damn Sports Show Period,” on Fox Sports from 2001-2007. Shortly after that, she would become one of the most recognizable people in poker, at the height of the poker boom, from 2007 to 2011.

The poker world got to know Tweeden as she got to know the players, serving as hostess and doing player introductions and bustout interviews for “Poker After Dark” on NBC during Seasons 4-7. In 2010 and 2011, she performed similar duties for the “NBC National Heads Up Championship.” The video below features highlights and outtakes from her work on “Poker After Dark.”

As a TV spokesmodel, she worked alongside commentator Ali Nejad for many years on two of the more popular televised poker shows in history.

It was in her role as poker-world sweetheart that she landed the cover of the December 2011 issue of Playboy, which referred to her as “Queen of Hearts” and “poker’s biggest draw.” Tweeden also appeared in Maxim and FHM magazines.

Tweeden, the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and a proud supporter of the US military, has performed on 16 USO tours, traveling to war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan while providing live entertainment for soldiers overseas.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars awarded her in 2011 a special honor for “outstanding contribution to America’s Armed Forces in the form of entertainment.”

It was on a USO tour where Tweeden met her eventual husband, now a pilot for the California Air National Guard, and also where she met Franken before he groped her on a military plane.

Franken, aka “Stuart Smalley” on Saturday Night Live, was good enough and smart enough to get elected to the US Senate in 2009. But, doggonit, many people don’t like him now that he’s an accused sexual predator.

9 Responses to “Poker World Knew Leeann Tweeden Before She Outed Senator Al Franken as Sexual Miscreant”

  1. belladonna05 says:

    Doggonit, I would love to see an ethics investigation of all sexual predators in the government, starting at the top office of the president.

  2. Hackerosito says:

    The beautiful Bride of poker, it is unfortunate that these events happen, t is also unfortunate that it is said after so long what happened, very embarrassing. Not only is asking for a public apology and already, I think that people like this man should be punished more. Many women today suffer from these abuses, hopefully as well as Tweeden not put the complaint very late.

  3. Jere Rivard says:

    Give me a break …..She is PR hog.

  4. Jere Rivard says:

    Give me a break …..She is PR hog. Bride of poker ? Bich of poker is more like it, it you ever met her.

  5. Herkstwin says:

    Another politician accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour, this time with a victim well known in the poker world.
    What’s with these morons and an even bigger question – What’s with the people who vote them into office? A candidate for president of the USA brags about his inappropriate behaviour and gets elected. A candidate dates and harasses teenagers, gets called out, and refuses to back out of the race. Will he too be elected?

    My mind is incapable of understanding these deniers and their supporters.
    Let’s hope they stay out of our poker rooms.

    • Susan Lynn says:

      Goes on a USO tour with Robin Williams. SHE jumps him, tries to straddle and hump him and practically force kisses him and pats his butt. SHE was the sexual harasser. harasser

      She goes on the Howard Stern show laughs about not wearing panties. Laughs when Howard feels her breast and calls him Dr. Howard asks him if he is hung. This naked prancer is a sexual instigator

      Franken wants an investigation so now Tweeden foregives him and wants to forget the whole thing. I do not condone sexual harrassment. That being said woen who make false accusations are no better. I would love to have it investigated for that very reason

  6. Susan Lynn says:

    What a tool. She goes on the Howard Stern show laughs about not wearing panties. Laughs when Howard feels her breast and calls him Dr. Howard plus other outrageous things cause it is the Howard Stern show.

    The tool goes on a USO tour with Robin Williams. SHE jumps him, straddles him and practically force kisses him and pats his butt. SHE was the sexual harasser. Watch it and watch his routine. No doubt she had heard his routine many times before trying to straddle him.

    This twit is a first class TOOL no I take that back a 2nd class TOOL.
    Franken behaves like his SNL character Stuart Smally and she suffers trauma that lasts for years

  7. chicopaw says:

    Tweeden is no premodonna lol, She’s been around the block .Like many of us ,many times their have been advances and language not suitable .Being able to handle the situation is power and also will gain respect .Many men/women have have been there ,but some of us shouldnt have careers ruined for past incidences ,more so if it was just a kiss, Really!!!!! .Sexual accustions are serious and some of these inccidents are petty . Some of these are being brought up from decades ago ,We all can change overtime and yes there are severe sexual offenses that should never go unscaved and should be prosecuted

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