Lauren Boebert says she ‘fell short of values’ after Beetlejuice groping video

The US congresswoman Lauren Boebert has issued an apology after being kicked out of a performance of the musical Beetlejuice in Denver for inappropriate behavior, an experience she has called “difficult and humbling”.

Boebert, a Republican representative for Colorado, and a male guest accompanying her were ejected from the musical on 10 September for vaping, recording video and disturbing other patrons during the Sunday performance. Video also showed them eagerly groping each other while in their seats.

Boebert and her campaign manager initially denied that she was vaping and said she was removed for being too loud. But surveillance video obtained by the Denver television station 9News show the congresswoman openly vaping during the performance.

Two sources also confirmed to 9News that Boebert was vaping, a prohibited action that ushers attempted to address with her several times.

A pregnant woman reportedly confronted Boebert and asked the congresswoman to stop vaping, the New York Post reported. But Boebert refused.

“These people in front of us were outrageous,” the unnamed woman said to the Post. “I’ve never seen anyone act like that before.”

The CCTV video also shows Boebert’s guest fondling her breasts after they had taken their seats for the musical performance. Boebert is also seen petting her guest’s crotch in the venue whose patrons often include children and their families.

Boebert and her date were later removed by security in the second act of the musical as their disruptive behavior continued.

The CCTV footage showed a blurred out gesture which Boebert flashed at theater security as she was escorted out.

According to a report of the confrontation from theater security, Boebert and her guest reportedly became argumentative with officials. “Do you know who I am?” the congresswoman allegedly asked, according to the theater security report.

Boebert apologized for her behavior in a Friday evening statement.

“The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I’m truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community,” Boebert said in the apology, as reported by the Colorado Sun.

Boebert added that her “public and difficult divorce” has created a “challenging personal time for me and my entire family”.

“I’ve tried to handle it with strength and grace as best I can, but I simply fell short of my values on Sunday,” Boebert said.

Boebert filed for divorce from her husband, Jayson, in May. The couple had been married for nearly 20 years.

Boebert’s disturbance at the musical was first confirmed on Tuesday, though the congresswoman initially attempted to suggest she was removed from the theater for enjoying the performance too much.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Boebert wrote that she “[pleaded] guilty to laughing and singing too loud!”

The Colorado congresswoman is in her second term after narrowly being re-elected in 2022.

She is one of the most far-right representatives in Congress, widely known for bigoted statements she has made against LGBTQ+ people, Muslims and other marginalized communities.

A report from the LGBTQ+ news outlet Advocate noted that the man who accompanied her to Beetlejuice was a Democrat named Quinn Gallagher who is the proprietor of a bar that has hosted LGBTQ+ events and drag performances, which have often been targets of the political right.