A present staffer to Andrew Cuomo who instructed a coworker that the governor had “aggressively groped” her, has revealed extra particulars of the incident when she was summoned to the manager mansion in November of final 12 months.
In an in depth interview with the Instances Union, which first reported the lady’s allegations on March ninth, she additionally described how previous to the November 2020 incident, Cuomo made a collection of sexually express feedback and touched her inappropriately a number of occasions in what she stated was grooming habits. The publication withheld her identify citing her privateness.
That day final 12 months, Cuomo had particularly requested by way of his senior aide Stephanie Benton that the lady come to the manager mansion to assist together with his telephone, the publication reported.
As she arrived in his workplace within the mansion, Cuomo walked out from behind his desk and embraced her and began groping her breasts. The girl stated she was mortified and afraid, and managed to say, “You’re going to get us in hassle.” Cuomo slammed the door behind her, stated he didn’t care, and walked towards her once more, this time grabbing her breasts over her bra.
“He pulled me shut and all I bear in mind is seeing his hand, his massive hand,” she stated. “I bear in mind trying down like, ‘Holy sh_.'”
The girl stated she panicked and didn’t know what to do.
“I don’t bear in mind truly saying the phrase ‘Cease.’ I believe I stated, ‘You’re loopy.’” The phrases appeared to make the governor recoil, she stated. He walked again behind his desk and he or she circled and left his workplace, sitting in her automobile for a number of minutes attempting to calm herself down.
“It’s a must to pull your self collectively'” she stated, “If I instructed somebody, I’m performed. And who do you inform?”
The incident final November was the end result of a collection of sexual feedback and cases of bodily touching that made the lady really feel as if Cuomo was intentionally grooming her for intercourse. The girl’s allegations are probably the most severe in opposition to Cuomo up to now and have been referred to the Albany Police.
Learn extra: A Timeline Of Cuomo’s Colliding Scandals
Cuomo faces a spread of sexual harassment accusations from at the very least 5 present and former staffers who’ve alleged he created a poisonous work setting the place girls had been objectified, that he went out of his technique to contact girls’s our bodies, made sexually express remarks, and forcibly kissed a lady. A number of different girls who met the governor in passing have additionally described being touched, kissed and hugged in ways in which made them uncomfortable.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied touching anybody inappropriately and has stated he was sorry for making anybody uncomfortable. He additionally denied this lady’s allegations after they had been reported final month. His legal professional Rita Glavin didn’t return a request for additional touch upon the reporting within the Instances Union instantly.
Learn extra: Sexual Harassment Legal guidelines Strengthened By Cuomo Might Lead To His Undoing
Shortly after the lady began working within the government chambers one other in 2017, one other feminine aide stated one thing to her that confused her. “Oh, you’re going to get stolen,” the lady instructed her. “You simply wait and see, and the governor will likely be stealing you.”
Over time, Cuomo started making sexually express feedback and questions just like conversations described by former aide Charlotte Bennett, who stated Cuomo requested if she was comfy courting older males and if she was delicate to intimacy as a result of she’d been sexually assaulted.
“He’s like, ‘Would you ever do something with anybody else? I’m single and able to mingle,’” she recalled, and on one other event, “‘Oh, when you had been single, the issues that I might do to you.’”
She described hugs from Cuomo that acquired longer and longer, solely when different staffers weren’t round, usually punctuated by a kiss on the cheek. Cuomo would justify the touching citing his Italian roots, the lady stated, the identical justification he’s used to defend himself in latest weeks as extra have come ahead describing how his actions had been inappropriate.
She recalled being shocked one time when senior staffers had been within the room, and Cuomo didn’t hug her as she’d grown accustomed to him doing.
“When he didn’t I stated ‘Hmm.’ It felt calculated,” he stated. “He would completely act completely different.”
The girl detailed what she recalled as “the primary blatant transfer.” The 2 had been alone in Cuomo’s workplace on New Years of 2019. Cuomo wished her to take a selfie of the 2 of them. As she held up the telephone, she stated, Cuomo rubbed his hand on her butt cheek. She was terrified, she stated, and her palms had been shaking.
“I couldn’t get a transparent image,” she stated. “You’re like, ‘Is that this actually occurring, is that this taking place?’’
The girl stated she didn’t report the groping incident to her bosses on the time. Her supervisor, the individual she thought she would possibly inform, was one in all Cuomo’s closest confidants. It wasn’t till March third, following sexual harassment by two former staffers Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, that the lady got here ahead.
She was watching Cuomo’s televised apology with different staffers, the place he denied touching anybody inappropriately, and began crying—at that time, she confided in a co-worker who comforted her. That lady later reported the incident to their supervisors, the Instances Union reported. The incident was referred to the State Legal professional Normal Workplace Letitia James’ workplace whose attorneys have since interviewed her, in keeping with the publication. A spokesperson for James’ workplace declined to remark.
As a cloud of investigations and allegations have loomed massive over Cuomo’s administration, he’s tried to shift focus by placing an emphasis on the state finances, reopening the state, and vaccination roll out by way of a collection of press conferences surrounded by political allies however no reporters.
James is investigating sexual harassment allegations in opposition to Cuomo. The State Meeting is contemplating sexual harassment allegations (although lots of the girls have stated they received’t take part), nursing dwelling knowledge coverup, and points with the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. The federal authorities can be probing points concerning nursing houses. There are potential breaches of state ethics legal guidelines, following stories that Cuomo gave prioritized COVID testing to family and friends and that he used state sources to jot down his pandemic memoir $4 million ebook deal.