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Actor Mary Lynn Rajskub has spoken out about an interaction with political commentator Rush Limbaugh in 2006, during which he forcibly kissed her without her consent.
Rajskub – who played Chloe O’Brian for six seasons of drama series 24 – had been on a panel in Washington, DC to discuss the long-running television show when she encountered the late conservative political commentator. Limbaugh died in 2021.
As they greeted each other, Limbaugh kissed her on the mouth.
In her forthcoming memoir FAME-ISH: My Life at the Edge of Stardom, the actor details what happened in that moment, clarifying that the kiss was both unexpected and unwanted.
“I turned to look up and that’s when it happened,” she writes.
“When I turned he was coming down to give me a kiss... on the lips?! I have no idea how he got his body around so quickly for a full-on kiss.
“As it happened, tons of camera flashes went out. He had to have known what he was doing.”
She continues: “He knew there were 10 photographers there – I did not. I should have but I didn’t. I also didn’t know how to stop the kiss from happening.”
Rajskub went on to explain how the image spreading across the media portrayed an incorrect message about her feelings towards Limbaugh, as well as her own political beliefs.
“In one shrewd move of his, an image went out into the world that showed I was a supporter of the right-wing cause. I was not. It also showed I found Rush Limbaugh attractive. I did not. The kiss was weird. Intentional for him, and accidental for me,” she writes.
As a result of the image being circulated, Rajskub also says that she fell out with an ex-boyfriend and lost favour with musicians that she respected. The actor adds that although she was uncomfortable with the attention, she felt as if she had to continue with the publicity tour for the sake of the show.
“I knew I was shilling for the success of the show, to keep my job, to stay on the air, and to take the spotlight when the show was in the spotlight,” she continues.
“But to become a right-wing darling was too much. Thank God it didn’t last more than one news cycle.”