More Former Aides Accuse Governor Cuomo Of Sexual Harassment

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A fourth and fifth lady have come ahead alleging they have been sexually harassed by Governor Andrew Cuomo; one stated she was harassed between 2013 and 2015 when she labored in his Albany workplace, and one other lady stated the sexual advances occurred in 2000 when Cuomo oversaw the U.S. Division of Housing and City Improvement.

Ana Liss, who’s now 35 years outdated, instructed the Wall Avenue Journal that when she labored in Cuomo’s govt chambers between 2013 and 2015, Cuomo requested her if she had a boyfriend, known as her sweetheart, touched her decrease again, and kissed her hand. 

The fifth lady, Karen Hinton, who labored as a press secretary at HUD underneath Cuomo, instructed the Washington Publish she was summoned to a dimly lit lodge room in 2000 after a piece occasion, the place Cuomo pulled her in for an extended, uncomfortable embrace.

Peter Ajemian, a spokesperson for Cuomo’s workplace, dismissed Hinton’s account calling her a “recognized antagonist of the governor’s.” They didn’t particularly refute Liss’ account of being hugged and kissed by Cuomo, who then allegedly put his arm round her waist for {a photograph} at a reception within the governor’s mansion, however stated the governor usually kisses “women and men posing for photos…That is what individuals in politics do.”

Liss and Hinton are the newest to accuse Cuomo of inappropriate sexual advances. Two former gubernatorial aides, Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, have made comparable allegations, with Boylan saying the governor forcibly kissed her in his workplace whereas Bennett stated she believed he was grooming her with private questions. A fifth lady, Anna Ruch, stated Cuomo grabbed her face and kissed her cheek at a marriage in 2019. 

Cuomo had halted his common press briefings for seven days as the ladies got here ahead. He reappeared Wednesday, apologizing for making individuals really feel uncomfortable, however insisting he’d by no means touched anybody inappropriately. 

“You’ll be able to go discover tons of of images of me kissing individuals, males, ladies. It’s my traditional and customary manner of greeting,” he stated. 

Bennett criticized Cuomo’s declare that this was an apology. “An apology seems like—‘Charlotte Bennett, I’m sorry for sexually harassing you. It was inappropriate and unsuitable,’” she stated in a CBS Information interview.

The Washington Publish stated that Hinton instructed a reporter concerning the incident on February 14th, earlier than Boylan and Bennett got here ahead, however was not prepared to debate the matter publicly. She described the 2000 embrace from the governor as “too lengthy, too tight, too intimate.”

“I believed at that second it may result in a kiss, it may result in different issues, so I simply draw back once more, and I go away,” she recounted to the Publish. 

Hinton, who has additionally labored as a press secretary for New York Metropolis Mayor Invoice de Blasio, just lately penned an op-ed for the Each day Information describing the poisonous habits of male politicians like her two former bosses. When requested why she got here ahead, Hinton stated to Gothamist/WNYC, “Previous historical past however I needed to assist these two ladies—Lindsey and Charlotte—and displaying the sample over time was essential.” 

The mounting allegations of sexual harassment cap off a tumultuous few weeks for Cuomo, who faces dueling scandals: sexual misconduct allegations from a number of ladies and revelations that his high aides intentionally meddled with a well being division report back to deflate the variety of COVID deaths in nursing properties. With political stress constructing, state lawmakers voted on Friday to claw again a few of the emergency powers he’d been granted at first of the pandemic.

Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins had stated on Thursday night time that if “any additional individuals [come] ahead, I’d assume it could be time for him to resign.” 

A way more cautious assertion got here from Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie on Friday, a day after Bennett’s CBS Information interview. “The Speaker is keenly conscious of and paying shut consideration to the continuing investigations and developments concerning the 2 critical and regarding allegations in opposition to the Governor,” Heastie’s spokesman Michael Whyland stated.

Stewart-Cousins and Heastie did not instantly return requests for additional remark. 

New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James is overseeing the investigation into the sexual harassment allegations and despatched Cuomo’s workplace a request to protect paperwork, a sign the probe is underway. Federal investigators are reportedly probing his dealing with of nursing properties through the pandemic. 

With further reporting by Brigid Bergin



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