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A woman who works as an assistant governor of New York Andrew Cuomo says the governor aggressively touched her at the governor’s official residence late last year, making her at least the sixth woman to accuse him of inappropriate sexual behavior.
The woman’s story came after she recently heard the governor say he never touched the woman inappropriately.
The female staff account was first reported Times Union newspaper in the state capital of Albany, citing a source who has direct knowledge of the woman’s claims – the most difficult claim about Cuomo’s behavior toward women.
A female aide says she and Cuomo were alone in the governor’s private residence on the second floor of the Executive Villa when he put his hand under her blouse and began stroking her, a source told Times Union. An assistant was called into Cuomo’s living room to help him with a cell phone – a request that the newspapers describe as an apparent excuse for the two of them to be alone.
In response to the report, Cuomo issued a statement calling details of the woman’s story “destruction of the gut,” but he also denied behaving in the way she described. Cuomo had previously apologized for insulting or harming staff members with remarks he said could have been “insensitive or too personal.” But Cuomo has also repeatedly denied that he treated women inappropriately.
Cuomo’s recent denial of charges against him by Lindsey Boylan and other women has sparked new allegations.
After Cuomo said he never touched women inappropriately, “the assistant became emotional” as she and other employees watched his remarks at a news conference, he said. Times Union. The woman’s story emerged, the paper says, after at least one supervisor asked why she was upset.
New York State Attorney Letitia James has launched an independent claim investigation against Cuomo, a subpoena-led investigation led by Joon H. Kim, a former acting U.S. attorney for New York’s Southern District, and Anne L. Clark, an attorney for discrimination at employment.
A year after receiving praise for his candid briefings on COVID-19, Cuomo, 63, faces a double crisis over the treatment of his pandemic death in nursing homes and the treatment of women, including several former staff members.
A series of accusations have dampened Cuomo’s political position, and perhaps his future. At least 59 democratic members of the state legislature have signed a letter urging Cuomo to resign. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in statement meets with members on Thursday “on potential paths ahead.” A majority of Senate majority Andrea Stewart-Cousins did the same urged Cuomo to step down.
“In New York, he had a long-established reputation for tough politics and many people were afraid to speak out against him,” said WNYC member Gwynne Hogan. reports.
That changed after Assembly member Ron Kim said last month that Cuomo had threatened him in a phone call because of critical remarks Kim had made.
“Almost overnight, that fear of speech somehow dissipated,” Hogan says.
The outpouring of similar stories and support for Kim led to Lindsay Boylan going public with a claim of sexual harassment while working for Cuomo.
The women who have now accused Cuomo include Boylan and another assistant, Charlotte Bennett Ana Liss, who was a policy advisor at Cuomo’s office in Albany between 2013 and 2015.
After hearing other women’s stories, Liss says, she believes she was on a “slippery slope” while working for Cuomo. She was told that she likes blonde women, for example, and that she should wear heels. The governor also used to kiss her on the cheek.
Liss told Hogan to follow the other women about their interactions with the governor.
“I remember reading it and I was like, thank God I wasn’t taller,” Liss said. “Thank God I wasn’t alone around him. Thank God he didn’t take me seriously.”