x

Society

Cuomo on Sex Harassment Claims: “I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong”

ALBANY, N.Y. — In his first face-to-face encounter with journalists in months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday flatly denied he had done anything inappropriate with any of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct and harassment. 

Speaking to reporters at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, the Democrat abandoned his past approach of expressing contrition for some past behavior while declining to address whether specific allegations were true.

"You were in those rooms. You know the truth. So can you tell the people of the state of New York yes or no? Did you do the things you were accused of?" asked New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley. 

"To put it very simply, no." Cuomo said.

"All the groping, the sexual harassment, you deny all of that?" McKinley said.

"That's right. Yes," Cuomo said.

Several current and former state employees and other women have accused Cuomo of making unwanted sexual remarks and advances, giving them unwanted kisses or touching them inappropriately.

One female aide said Cuomo groped her breasts after summoning her to his official residence. 

Before Monday, Cuomo had repeatedly denied he touched anyone inappropriately. He's said " sorry " for making some people uncomfortable with comments or gestures he claimed were playful.

Cuomo's said he likes to hug and kiss people because of his Italian-American heritage.

Asked if he would consider disciplining himself or resigning if the state attorney general, who is investigating the claims, reports he did harass women, Cuomo dismissed that possibility.

"The report can't say anything different because I didn't do anything wrong," Cuomo said.

This was the first time Cuomo has allowed a group of journalists to question him in person since sexual harassment allegations surfaced in December.

For months, citing COVID-19 precautions, he has taken questions only via telephone or internet conference calls — forums where his staff can control who asks questions and journalists often aren't allowed to ask follow-up queries.

A lawyer for Charlotte Bennett, a former aide who accused Cuomo of hitting on her while they worked together, said the governor's new claim he did nothing wrong was "revisionist history."

"Just weeks ago he admitted numerous times to making 'jokes' and other inappropriate comments to Ms. Bennett, which are defined as sexual harassment under the very policies he enacted," the attorney, Debra Katz, said.

"Does he really not understand that sexually propositioning a 25 year-old staffer after making inappropriate comments of a sexual nature is illegal?" she asked.

Cuomo has defied calls for his resignation  from many of New York's most influential Democrats, including most members of the state's congressional delegation and a majority of state lawmakers.

He has urged the public to await the results of investigations being conducted by Attorney General Letitia James and the state Assembly's judiciary committee, which is exploring whether there are grounds to impeach him.

James and the legislative committee are also investigating whether Cuomo used state resources for his book on pandemic leadership. And the Assembly committee and federal prosecutors are scrutinizing his administration's months-long refusal to release how many nursing home residents died of COVID-19 in all.

RELATED

WASHINGTON — The House gave final approval Thursday to legislation protecting same-sex marriages, a monumental step in a decadeslong battle for nationwide recognition of such unions that reflects a stunning turnaround in societal attitudes.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Mitsotakis: Today’s Bill Comes to Define a New Field in Which Everyone Should Move

ATHENS - At the end of August 2022, I announced a legislative initative for the upgrading and modernisation of the protection, the operation of the security agencies and the operation of the communications and after the change in National Intelligence Service's (EYP) leadership and the establishment of double check to the legal intrusions," stated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the parliament on Thursday during the debate on Justice Minstry's bill on the lifting of the communications confidentiality, cybersecurity and protection of the citizens' personal data.

The holiday season is swiftly upon us: gingerbread houses, eggnog, and festive parties with our nearest and dearest.

PERTH AMBOY — People are asking questions about a storm protection proposal for New York and New Jersey that would be among the most massive and costly flood control projects ever done in America.

NEW YORK. A delegation of the Diaspora Sector of Greece’s ruling New Democracy party visited New York City December 1-4.

WASHINGTON — The House gave final approval Thursday to legislation protecting same-sex marriages, a monumental step in a decadeslong battle for nationwide recognition of such unions that reflects a stunning turnaround in societal attitudes.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.