ANDREW Cuomo accuser Lindsey Boylan has denounced him as a ‘monster’ after another former aide alleged the Governor “was trying to sleep with her”.
Three women have come forward to accuse Cuomo, 63, of sexually harassing them or making inappropriate remarks – prompting calls for the New York boss to quit.
Two additional women have made accusations against the 63-year-old Cuomo[/caption]
Boylan, 37, hit headlines in December 2020 after making allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo, who she worked for between 2015 and 2018.
And this week she spoke out in defence of fellow accuser Charlotte Bennett, 25, after she alleged to CBS News that he had propositioned her for “sex”.
Bennett was asked by anchor Norah O’Donnell if she thought Cuomo was “emboldened” by “national attention” on his coronavirus briefings.
“Absolutely,” Bennett replied, adding, “I think he felt like he was untouchable in a lot of ways.”
Bennett, Cuomo’s former aide, also recalled that in a May 15 conversation, he seemed focused on the fact that she survived sexual assault.
“So he goes, ‘You were raped. You were raped. You were raped and abused and assaulted,’” Bennett said.
O’Donnell asked Bennett if she believes Cuomo was propositioning her.
“Yes,” Bennett said.
“For what?” O’Donnell asked.
“Sex,” the former aide replied.
“It didn’t feel like I had a choice” when it came to answering his questions, she said.
Charlotte Bennett said Andrew Cuomo felt he was ‘untouchable’[/caption]
Charlotte Bennett said Andrew Cuomo seemed fixated on her rape trauma[/caption]
Boylan raged on Twitter: “Nothing Charlotte Bennett experienced was her fault. @NYGovCuomo is a monster and I do not forgive him or his team who made this abuse and grooming in service of abuse possible.”
She later highlighted an interview published in Harper’s Bazaar, which explains that Boylan’s “decision to come forward, like many survivors, was a complicated one”.
Boylan told HB: “A young woman reached out to me after I went public about the toxic work environment in Cuomo’s administration to talk about sexual harassment.
“I hadn’t mentioned my experience publicly yet, but her experience was similar to my own.
“It really broke my heart, because she’s younger than I am and I couldn’t protect her.”
Bennett’s claims came three days after Boylan alleged Cuomo kissed her on the lips and suggested they play strip poker.
After the two accusations, a third woman, Anna Ruch, 33, came forward and alleged to The New York Times that Cuomo touched her lower back, then grabbed her cheeks and asked to kiss her at a September 2019 wedding
Following the trio’s accusations of sexual misconduct, he denied any inappropriate behaviour and ordered an independent inquiry into the allegations.
Cuomo apologized in response to claims of sexual harassment but insisted he will not resign as he “never touched anyone inappropriately”.
“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” Cuomo said.
“It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and frankly I am embarrassed by it,” he added.
But Bennett rejected his public apology on Thursday – a response likely to ratchet up pressure on the embattled Democrat, who is facing calls to resign.
“It’s not an apology. It’s not an issue of my feelings.
“It’s an issue of his actions. The fact is that he was sexually harassing me and he has not apologized for [allegedly] sexually harassing me and he can’t even use my name,” Bennett said.
Boylan, a candidate for Manhattan borough president, also dismissed the governor’s apology.
“How can New Yorkers trust you @NYGovCuomo to lead our state if you “don’t know” when you’ve been inappropriate with your own staff?” she asked on Twitter.
Boylan told Harpers Bazaar in its article published on Thursday that she woke up one day in December, and saw Cuomo being floated for attorney general, the highest law enforcement position in the US.
She had tweeted earlier about an allegedly abusive workplace environment in the administration.
But after an unnamed woman reached out to her with a story of being allegedly harassed by Cuomo – amid the possibility of him in the Biden administration – she said, “I didn’t think about it at all. I began tweeting about my experience”.
Boylan told the magazine that she has been in touch with Bennett but not Ruch, adding that Ruch’s story made her feel nauseous.
Cuomo has apologized but insists he will not resign[/caption]
Lindsey Boylan accused Cuomo of kissing her on the lips[/caption]
The allegations have prompted New York Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic majority leader of the state Senate, to tell state media she is “so, so disappointed”.
“I applaud women who have been through this for coming forward,” she told the Albany-based New York State of Politics.
The politician added: “Any further people coming forward, I would think it would be time for him to resign.
“Quite honestly, I am so, so disappointed that here we are in 2021 and we are having these conversations on the heels of #MeToo.”
Facing mounting calls for his resignation, Cuomo said on Wednesday that he would remain in office.
After apologizing for acting in a way that made people feel uncomfortable he said he would cooperate with an investigation headed by state Attorney General Letitia James, a fellow Democrat.
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The furore comes during accusations that his administration sought to downplay the number of nursing home residents killed by Covid.
Aides rewrote a report by health officials to hide the higher nursing home death toll as the Governor began penning his boastful book, it was reported on Thursday.
The shocking July report from the New York Department of Health allegedly revealed how many nursing home residents had died of Covid by June – more than 9,000.