Three dozen women who worked with Sen. Al Franken on “Saturday Night Live” released a statement late Monday supporting the Minnesota Democrat following accusations that he groped two women.

The statement came after Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor and former model, said the former comedian forcibly kissed her and later grabbed her breasts while she slept on the flight home during a 2006 overseas United Service Organizations tour. Franken apologized publicly and asked to meet with Tweeden to do so in person, and he agreed to face a Senate ethics investigation.

The SNL alumni signing the statement, who included cast members, writers and production staff on the sketch comedy show, disavowed Franken’s actions but said he had handled the victims’ public revelations properly. “What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize to Ms Tweeden, and to the public,” they wrote.

And they offered a strong defense of their former colleague and his treatment of women. “After years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior; and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each of us with the utmost respect and regard,” they wrote.

Signers included Jane Curtin, a comedian and actress who was an original SNL cast member in 1975 and went on to movies and TV projects, including the 1980s sitcom “Kate & Allie” and “3rd Rock From the Sun.”

Franken on Monday faced a second accusation, from a woman who told CNN that Franken had grabbed her when they posed for a photo at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair. Franken said he didn’t remember the incident but told CNN, “I feel badly that Ms. Menz came away from our interaction feeling disrespected.”

Unlike many other powerful men accused in recent weeks of inappropriate behavior, Franken is getting public support from women who have worked with him: Eight former Senate staffers co-signed a statement on Friday similarly vouching that their onetime boss had treated them “with the utmost respect.”