MeToo Lawyer Resigns From Time’s Up Over Role In Cuomo Scandal
Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018 - Day 2
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Roberta Kaplan, co-founder of the Time’s Up legal defense fund, has resigned from the MeToo organization after she was named in the New York state attorney general’s report as having consulted on an op-ed about one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s accusers.

According to The New York Times, Kaplan submitted her resignation to Time’s Up, where she serves as chairwoman, on Monday — the same day a previously unnamed executive assistant to Cuomo came forward for an interview with “CBS This Morning” and accused the governor of seeking “personal sexual satisfaction” through his hugs with her. 

Kaplan reportedly wrote that she couldn’t answer questions as to why or how she was involved in Cuomo’s scandal because of her status as an attorney. Amidst the investigation, Kaplan served as an attorney to Melissa DeRosa, the governor’s top aide, who resigned on Sunday. 

“I therefore have reluctantly come to the conclusion that an active law practice is no longer compatible with serving on the Board at Time’s Up at this time and I hereby resign,” wrote Kaplan in a resignation letter, according to the Times. 

The resignation comes as pressure mounts for Cuomo, who was found to have sexually harassed multiple women, to resign from his position or face impeachment proceedings. Cuomo has denied wrongdoing. Should he be impeached, his little-known lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, would serve as acting governor. 

According to the official report, DeRosa helped to circulate a draft op-ed impugning accuser Lindsay Boylan. Although the op-ed was never published, the draft reached Kaplan and Tina Tchen, another co-founder of Time’s Up, both of whom allegedly thought the draft was fine so long as it didn’t include statements about Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues. DeRosa, in turn, told Cuomo they thought it was fine. 

“Today is a very sad day,” Kaplan told the Times in an emailed statement. “I will so miss time spent with this board and our sisterhood. Going together, I hope they will be able to stick together and continue this important work.”

As The Hollywood Reporter noted, a group of self-described sexual assault survivors and Time’s Up clients have written an open letter to the organization Monday accusing them of abandoning “the very people they were supposed to champion.”

“Kaplan and Tchen, in their roles at TIME’S UP, weaponized their knowledge of survivors experiences to help Governor Cuomo and his office retaliate against at least one of nearly a dozen women who were courageous in speaking up about the myriad of ways he abused his power and violated their bodies in the workplace,” they wrote. 

The group made various demands in the open letter, among them, for the organization to conduct “a third-party investigation and issue a detailed report illustrating the full extent to which TIME’S UP board members and staff members have been approached by, offered advice to, or are representing perpetrators of harm.”

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