“I Came To Work Nauseous”: Ex-Cuomo Aide Says Governor Sexually Harassed And Forcibly Kissed Her


A former adviser to Governor Andrew Cuomo has come ahead with detailed allegations that describe how he sexually harassed her over three years. The governor, Lindsey Boylan alleged, tried to maintain tabs on her motion, joked about enjoying “strip poker,” made her deeply uncomfortable by commenting on her look to different staffers, and forcibly kissed her.

Boylan described her allegations in opposition to Cuomo in a prolonged Medium publish revealed Wednesday, together with screenshots of an e mail trade and textual content exchanges with each her mom and one other Cuomo staffer. Boylan mentioned the abuse culminated shortly after she’d been promoted to Deputy Secretary for Financial Improvement and Particular Advisor to the Governor in 2018.

Following a non-public assembly with the governor at his Manhattan workplaces, Boylan mentioned Cuomo stepped in and kissed her on the lips as she was leaving the room.

“I used to be in shock, however I saved strolling,” she wrote, including she was horrified that his staffer exterior the workplace may need seen the kiss. “The concept that somebody would possibly assume I held my high-ranking place due to the Governor’s ‘crush’ on me was extra demeaning than the kiss itself.”

Boylan, who’s a at present a candidate for Manhattan Borough President, declined to remark past the Medium publish. She hinted on the abuse in tweets she made final December, however had declined additional interviews on the time. Cuomo beforehand denied the allegations, and his workplace repeated the denial on Wednesday.

“As we mentioned earlier than, Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate conduct are fairly merely false,” press secretary Caitlin Girouard mentioned in a press release.

Boylan’s allegations come as Cuomo faces maybe the rockiest political second in his decade in workplace, amid mounting criticism about hiding information on the variety of COVID-19 deaths in nursing houses, and rising complaints of bullying conduct in direction of lawmakers and colleagues.

Final week, Assemblymember Ron Kim spoke publicly about an abusive name he’d acquired from the governor after chatting with the press in regards to the nursing residence challenge. The New York Instances subsequently reported the Governor had a “do-not-yell” listing held by the governor’s former prime aide Joe Percoco, who’s at present serving a jail sentence on corruption fees.

Some State lawmakers got here to Boylan’s protection after she revealed her account. State Senate Majority Chief Andrew Stewart-Cousins referred to as the account “deeply disturbing,” and Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie despatched out a press release saying, “harassment within the office of any type shouldn’t be tolerated.”

“I imagine her,” tweeted Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “Think about going to work daily with this sort of concern. I do know what it’s like. So many people do. It should finish.”

The Sexual Harrassment Working Group, fashioned in 2018 by a gaggle of legislative staffers within the wake of the #MeToo motion to deal with harassment within the state authorities, affirmed Boyland’s account.

“That is sadly, nauseatingly essential to repeat once more at present as extra folks communicate out about their experiences within the office with Governor Cuomo,” the group mentioned in a press release. “That is one other reckoning level. We refuse to just accept a definition of management that is determined by denigrating and abusing others in service to 1 highly effective man.”

Boylan was employed by the state in 2015, and mentioned she first met the governor in 2016 at an occasion at Madison Sq. Backyard. Quickly after, she wrote, her boss informed her Cuomo had a “crush” on her. In a subsequent trade, Cuomo’s staffer Stephanie Benton emailed her to inform her Cuomo thought she appeared like “the better-looking sister,” of Cuomo’s rumored ex-girlfriend, Lisa Shields.

“It was degrading,” Boylan wrote.

Boylan described a number of unconformable encounters within the following years as she made her method up the ranks in his administration. The governor would exit of his option to contact her decrease again, legs and arms, she wrote. When flying with him and different staffers on his personal jet, he’d joked about enjoying “strip poker,” which Boylan mentioned she tried to snicker off. The governor’s workplace denied the dialog had occurred, offering a listing of names of passengers on the airplane in October, 2017.

“We have been on every of those October flights and this dialog didn’t occur,” a press release from present and former staffers John Maggiore, Howard Zemsky, Dani Lever, and Abbey Fashouer Collins.

The assertion from Cuomo’s workplace didn’t particularly refute the e-mail Boylan acquired from Benton, or the assembly the place she mentioned the governor had kissed her in opposition to her will. Shortly after the alleged kiss, Boylan resigned from her place. The Day by day Information reported final 12 months that two state officers requested she be faraway from workplace for ordering round staff who didn’t report back to her, citing personnel recordsdata the publication obtained. The recordsdata additionally raised “extra issues” of African-American ladies, who reported to her and felt bullied by her.

“I got here to work nauseous daily,” Boylan mentioned of her time working for the governor, including that she felt compelled to inform her full model of occasions after Assemblymember Ron Kim spoke up final week.

“No lady ought to really feel pressured to cover their experiences of office intimidation, harassment and humiliation — not by the Governor or anybody else,” Boylan wrote. “There are numerous extra of us, however most are too afraid to talk up.”