Second Former Aide To Governor Cuomo Claims He Sexually Harassed Her


A former feminine aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo has accused him of sexually harassing her whereas they labored collectively in the course of the top of the pandemic final spring.

The brand new allegations had been first reported by the New York Occasions, and are available days after one other former aide mentioned that Cuomo sexually harassed and forcibly kissed her.

Charlotte Bennett, who had been an government assistant within the governor’s workplace from 2019 to 2020, instructed the Occasions that the governor had inappropriate conversations along with her in Could, asking whether or not she was having intercourse with different individuals, whether or not she would have intercourse with older males, and telling her that he was lonely. Bennett, who’s 25, mentioned the 63-year-old governor repeatedly requested her when she final “actually hugged any person,” and claimed that he was snug sleeping with girls of their 20s.

“I understood that the governor needed to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett instructed the Occasions. “And was questioning how I used to be going to get out of it and assumed it was the top of my job.”

She was additionally shocked by Cuomo’s “seeming fixation” about her being a survivor of a sexual assault, after she talked about going again to her school to talk to college students in regards to the subject, in response to the Occasions. Bennett reportedly texted a pal, “The best way he was repeating, ‘You had been raped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed,’ time and again whereas trying me immediately within the eyes was one thing out of a horror film… It was like he was testing me.”

Bennett, who had initially seen the governor as a mentor determine, mentioned she now sees that point collectively as “grooming.” After she instructed Jill DesRosiers, the governor’s chief of employees, in regards to the incident, she was moved out of the governor’s workplace and into a task as a well being coverage adviser final June. The Occasions additionally reported she mentioned she gave “a prolonged assertion to a particular counsel to the governor, Judith Mogul, towards the top of June.”

In an announcement despatched out on Saturday evening, the governor denied making any “sexual advances” in the direction of Bennet, however mentioned he would ask for a “full and thorough outdoors evaluation” of the matter.

“Ms. Bennett was a hardworking and valued member of our crew throughout COVID. She has each proper to talk out,” Cuomo mentioned within the assertion. “When she got here to me and opened up about being a sexual assault survivor and the way it formed her and her ongoing efforts to create a corporation that empowered her voice to assist different survivors, I attempted to be supportive and useful. Ms. Bennett’s preliminary impression was proper: I used to be attempting to be a mentor to her. I by no means made advances towards Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to behave in any approach that was inappropriate. The very last thing I might ever have needed was to make her really feel any of the issues which might be being reported.”

Cuomo’s assertion continued, “This example can’t and shouldn’t be resolved within the press; I imagine one of the best ways to get to the reality is thru a full and thorough outdoors evaluation and I’m directing all state workers to adjust to that effort. I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the evaluation in order that they know the details earlier than making any judgements. I’ll don’t have any additional remark till the evaluation has concluded.”

In a separate assertion, Cuomo’s high counsel Beth Garvey mentioned that Bennett was “totally debriefed on the details which didn’t embody a declare of bodily contact or inappropriate sexual conduct. She was consulted relating to the decision, and expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the way in which by which it was dealt with.”

Bennett defined to the Occasions that she did not ask for an investigation “as a result of she was joyful in her new job and ‘needed to maneuver on.'”

On Wednesday, Lindsay Boylan, a former adviser for Cuomo and a present candidate for Manhattan Borough President, printed an extended essay detailing Cuomo’s habits, saying he joked along with her about taking part in strip energy; instructed a colleague that she appeared just like the “higher trying sister” of a former girlfriend; and kissed her on the lips in his Manhattan workplace. “I used to be in shock, however I saved strolling,” she wrote, and recalled worrying somebody may need seen. “The concept 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.”

Cuomo’s workplace additionally denied Boylan’s allegations. Nonetheless, numerous outstanding New York Democrats, together with State Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Meeting Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator Charles Schumer, Mayor Invoice de Blasio, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, supported Boylan coming ahead.

“The continued allegations are deeply disturbing and regarding,” Stewart-Cousins mentioned in an announcement on Saturday. “The habits described has no place within the office. A really impartial investigation should start instantly.”

Heastie additionally known as for an impartial investigation in an announcement: “As I beforehand said, all allegations of harassment have to be taken significantly. A really impartial investigation is warranted.”

Even Cuomo’s lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, issued an announcement, “Everybody deserves to have their voice heard and brought significantly. I help an impartial evaluation.” 

Based on Garvey, former federal decide Barbara Jones will lead the evaluation.

One other outstanding Manhattan Democrat, State Senator Liz Krueger, questioned the selection of Jones to steer the investigation, due to her ties to a different pal of Cuomo’s, Steve Cohen.

“The disturbing sample of habits that has been attributed to the Governor have to be topic to a full, clear, and impartial investigation,” Krueger mentioned in an announcement. “We should shortly decide the suitable individual or entity to hold this out. And we should guarantee others who could want to come ahead that they are going to be revered and heard.  A retired decide who works with Steve Cohen, is just not acceptable possibility.”

State Meeting Member Yuh-Line Niou, a Democrat, reiterated her calls on Saturday for Cuomo to resign.

“These are issues we see partially. While you put all of the items collectively it’s a really disturbing sample,” she instructed Gothamist. “If there are two then there are a lot of extra.”

“The very fact she instructed so many individuals she’s working with, and so they dismissed it, I’m infuriated,” she added.

Nick Langworthy, chairman of the NY State Republican Get together, additionally known as for NY Legal professional Common Letitia James to step in. “In 2018, Andrew Cuomo demanded then-Decide Kavanaugh undergo a lie detector take a look at and mentioned victims have to be believed. We don’t want one other certainly one of his notorious whitewashed studies,” he mentioned in an announcement. “These critical and disturbing allegations point out a sample of abuse that have to be investigated outdoors of the governor’s attain. We’ve got an independently elected AG for a reason–Legal professional Common Tish James must do her job.”

These particular allegations of Cuomo’s habits come after Meeting Member Ron Kim described an abusive cellphone name he acquired from the governor. Kim, a critic of the Cuomo administration’s dealing with of nursing houses in the course of the pandemic, determined to come back ahead as a result of Cuomo spent a very good a part of his press convention slamming Kim and accusing the Queens lawmaker of pay-to-play politics.

“You aren’t going to derail or destroy any extra lives @NYGovCuomo,” Boylan Tweeted on Saturday evening.

With further reporting from Jake Offenhartz and Brigid Bergin.