Third Woman Accuses Governor Cuomo Of Harassment As Calls For His Resignation Grow Louder


A 3rd girl has come ahead alleging Governor Andrew Cuomo touched her in a manner that made her really feel deeply uncomfortable, forcibly kissing her cheek whereas she was at a marriage in 2019. Anna Ruch, 33, who beforehand labored within the Obama White Home as a photograph editor and for the Biden marketing campaign final yr, described the encounter in an Instagram publish Sunday.

“[He] slid his hand on my decrease again which I promptly eliminated after which he proceeded to seize my face with each palms and requested if he may kiss me,” she wrote, earlier than Cuomo allegedly kissed her on the cheek. She posted the feedback alongside a picture of the governor clasping her face between his palms, whereas she appeared visibly nervous and unable to maneuver. “Then [he] instructed me I used to be aggressive.”

She described the incident additional in an interview with the New York Occasions, which first reported her account. In contrast to the primary two ladies who had been staffers in his workplace, Ruch had by no means met Cuomo earlier than the 2019 incident. 

“I used to be so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” she instructed the Occasions. “I turned my head away and didn’t have phrases in that second.”

Ruch’s good friend, who requested to not be named, stated she was on the marriage ceremony and watched the incident play earlier than her eyes.

“My principal takeaway that night time was that the harassment appeared like nothing out of the unusual for the governor,” she stated. “It occurred and he moved on.”

Ruch is the third girl to return ahead in six days, describing sexual impropriety by Governor Cuomo, and the second girl to element a forcible kiss by him. Final week, Lindsey Boylan, a former Cuomo staffer, recounted in a prolonged Medium publish how the governor had kissed her in opposition to her will, touched her, and made inappropriate feedback in her over three years of working for him. 

Then on Saturday, Charlotte Bennett, a second former aide, described what she interpreted as grooming by the governor. She stated she opened as much as him as a survivor of sexual assault, and he requested her questions on her intercourse life, prompt she get a tattoo on her buttocks, and instructed her he felt comfy relationship ladies of their twenties.

After Ruch described what had occurred to her, Bennett expressed her solidarity with Ruch on Twitter. 

“I stand with Anna Ruch,” she wrote. “His inappropriate and aggressive conduct can’t be justified or normalized. Thanks on your braveness and energy. Right here for you at all times.”

Bennett’s legal professional Debra Katz tweeted, “I wonder if the governor goes to accuse Anna Ruch of bewilderment his intentions too,” referring to the governor’s assertion Sunday night, the place he had conceded a few of his feedback could have “been misinterpreted as an undesirable flirtation,” however insisted that he “by no means supposed to offend anybody or trigger any hurt.”

In these remarks, Cuomo denied that he “inappropriately touched anyone” or “propositioned anyone.”

The governor’s workplace didn’t instantly return a request for touch upon Ruch’s account.

Lawyer Common Letitia James formally launched a probe into allegations of sexual harassment in Cuomo’s workplace on Monday, after she obtained authorization from the his workplace to take action. The authorization got here after the governor tried to nominate two completely different political allies to help within the investigation. James pushed again on the governor’s presents, insisting she wanted subpoena energy and the liberty to conduct and unbiased overview.

Cuomo, who sometimes hosts hour-long press conferences thrice per week, has not appeared in public since final Wednesday, the identical day Boylan got here ahead. 

Ruch’s account is the newest within the firestorm of accusations about Governor Cuomo and his prime staffers which have emerged within the two weeks since Assemblymember Ron Kim publicly spoke about receiving a threatening telephone name from the governor. 

Kim had criticized Cuomo for his dealing with of nursing houses in the course of the pandemic and for withholding the true dying toll in services from state lawmakers and the general public for practically a yr, and stated the governor referred to as him threatening him to “destroy” him. Since then, politicians, federal staff, metropolis and state elected officers and reporters have described related bullying techniques from Governor Cuomo and his prime staffers.

Following Ruch’s account, different Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been calling for Cuomo to resign, together with City Councilmember Brad Lander, Assemblymember Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, State Senator John Liu, and Rep. Kathleen Rice.

Rice, whose unsuccessful 2010 NY AG run was supported by Cuomo, and who he appointed to the Moreland Fee, is the primary Home member to counsel that Cuomo ought to step down.

“The time has come,” she tweeted. “Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign.”