New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo all but disappeared after a slew of women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.
He reappeared on Monday, holding his first formal in-person press conference since the end of November. And the governor used his bully pulpit to lash out at his accusers, saying they just “want attention.”
When asked about the growing number of women accusing him of sexual misconduct, Cuomo said “No, no.”
“As for why he thought dozens of people have attested to his alleged disturbing behavior, Cuomo replied, ‘People are venial. People want attention. People are angry. People are jealous,'” the New York Post reported.
Cuomo was asked if he regrets inviting at least one female staffer to the Executive Mansion, Cuomo replied, “No.”
“I have many women who were working state government. I’m very proud that we probably have more women in senior positions than ever before,” he said. “And I think that’s a good thing.”
Cuomo said he was not worried about state attorney general’s office investigation into the sex-harassment allegations against him. “The report can’t say anything different because I didn’t do anything wrong,” the governor said.
Cuomo was also asked about a recent New York Times magazine cover story that alleged Cuomo referred to Jews as “these people and their f***ing treehouses” during a Sukkot event — a visibly angry Cuomo said “I never said any such things.”
“They printed slurs and slander, and you’d have to ask them why they did that,” Cuomo said.
A total of seven women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the governor.
Karen Hinton, who worked for Cuomo as a press aide, told The Washington Post that the governor called her to his “dimly lit” hotel room and hugged her twice following a work function in 2000. She said she pulled away from Cuomo, but he pulled her back toward his body and held onto her.
Meanwhile, Ana Liss, who worked for Cuomo as a policy and operations aide from 2013 to 2015, said the governor once asked her if she had a boyfriend, then touched her lower back and kissed her hand. Liss said at first she thought his actions were harmless flirtations, but she said she came to believe that they “diminished her from an educated professional to ‘just a skirt,’” Fox News reported.
Other accusers say Cuomo sexually harassed them. Anna Ruch, a former Biden 2020 campaign worker, told The New York Times that the governor made unwanted sexual advances toward her after they met at a wedding in New York City in 2019. She also accused Cuomo, 63, of kissing her without her permission, even as she tried to pull away. Ruch said the encounter left her “confused and shocked and embarrassed.”
Another accuser, Charlotte Bennett, a former Cuomo aide, alleges that the governor inquired about her sex life and asked her if she would be amenable to having a relationship with an older man. And another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, said Cuomo “made inappropriate comments about her appearance, kissed her without her consent at the end of a meeting and once suggested they play strip poker while aboard his state-owned jet,” The Associated Press reported.
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