New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing allegations of sexual harassment.
Within one week, two women made claims against Cuomo for his conduct.
Recently, a former female aid, Charlotte Bennett, 25, told The NY Times that Cuomo made a series of inappropriate remarks that left her convinced he “wanted to sleep with” her. NY Times reports,
Ms. Bennett said the most unsettling episode occurred on June 5, when she was alone with Mr. Cuomo in his State Capitol office. In a series of interviews this week, she said the governor had asked her numerous questions about her personal life, including whether she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships and had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s.
Cuomo told The NY Times,
He believed he had been acting as a mentor and had “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” Cuomo ultimately denies any sexual misconduct.
Last week, another former female aid, Lindsey Boylan, made claims against Cuomo. She spoke about the allegations in an essay posted on the Medium website. Boylan says Cuomo kissed her “on the lips” without warning inside his Manhattan office in 2018.
Boylan says the encounter happened after she was promoted to be Cuomo’s deputy secretary for economic development and special advisor to the governor — a job she initially turned down “because I didn’t want to be near him,” NY Posts reports. According to Boylan, this is how it went down,
“As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.”
Boylan resigned in September that same year. She made sexual harassment claims against Cuomo back in December. Back then, Cuomo denied the allegations and still does today.
Cuomo’s press secretary Caitlin Girouard said, “As we said before, Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false.”
On Sunday (Feb. 28) Cuomo acknowledged that some of his comments in the workplace “may have been insensitive or too personal” and said he was “truly sorry” to those who might have “misinterpreted (the remarks) as an unwanted,” CNN reports.
Cuomo is requesting an independent investigation, he wanted to work closely with the state attorney general, Letitia James, in selecting a judge but that idea was shot down. James insisted that the process be free from any perception of interference by the governor or his allies, CNN reports. To combat any biases, James requested an official referral that would provide the investigation — which will be handled by an outside law firm — subpoena power.
NY Democratic officials are calling for Cuomo to resign.