Two extra former aides have accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of uncomfortable, sexually oppressive encounters.
One — a former press aide — advised The Washington Post Saturday that he referred to as her into his dimly lit resort room and embraced her following a piece occasion.
The encounter occurred in 2000 when Cuomo was head of the federal workplace of Housing an Urban Development, Karen Hinton advised the Post. She stated she stepped again when Cuomo embraced her, however that he pulled her into his body again earlier than she managed to lastly draw back and stroll out of the room.
Hinton described the embrace to the Post as “very long, too long, too tight, too intimate. It’s not just a hug,” she added.
She didn’t describe the encounter as sexual harassment, however stated it concerned a disturbing “power dynamic.” She referred to as it a “power play” for “manipulation and control.” A pal advised the Post she was “creeped out” by it.
Anna Liss, who labored for Cuomo as a coverage and operations aide from 2013 to 2015, advised The Wall Street Journal Saturday of instances the governor requested her if she had a boyfriend, touched her on her lower back and kissed her hand as she rose from her desk.
Liss stated she initially thought the encounters had been innocent, however got here to see them as patronizing. She stated it diminished her from an expert to “just a skirt.” She added: “It’s not appropriate, really, in any setting.”
The accusations are the most recent in a rising checklist of complaints. Two different former aides, and a lady Cuomo met for the primary time at a marriage have just lately accused him of sexually harassing them.
Charlotte Bennett, who was an government assistant and well being coverage adviser within the Cuomo administration till final November, stated final week that the governor asked questions about her sex life, whether or not she was monogamous and if she ever had intercourse with older males. Bennett, 25, stated the 63-year-old governor advised her that he was open to relationships with ladies of their 20s — and that he was lonely.
Lindsey Boylan, a former state financial growth official, first alleged late final 12 months that the governor sexually harassed her a number of instances from 2016 to 2018.
Cuomo stated after these accusations that his “playful” banter was mistaken for “unwanted flirtation.” He apologized for making his feminine workers “uncomfortable,” however stated he is not going to resign over the complaints.
Regarding Hinton’s accusation, Cuomo’s director of communications, Peter Ajemian, flatly denied Hinton’s account of her encounter with Cuomo.
“This did not happen,” he advised the Post. “Karen Hinton is a known antagonist of the governor’s who is attempting to take advantage of this moment to score cheap points with made up allegations from 21 years ago.”
As for the account by Liss, Cuomo spokesperson Richard Azzopardi brushed it off. He advised the Journal: “Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years watching him kiss men and women and posing for pictures. At the public open-house mansion reception, there are hundreds of people, and he poses for hundreds of pictures. That’s what people in politics do.”
But three different ladies who labored in Cuomo’s workplace additionally advised the Post that he requested them about their courting lives. They didn’t see the questions as sexual propositions, however did consider it was a part of the tradition of Cuomo’s workplace that they discovered “degrading” to ladies, the Post reported.
Beyond accusations of sexual harassment, different individuals who labored for Cuomo advised the Post that he cultivated an aggressive, poisonous work atmosphere by which he usually verbally attacked and humiliated workers in entrance of others. Staffers described what the Post characterised as Cuomo’s “Jekyll-and-Hyde” character: Charming, then raging with anger.
Two male aides who labored for Cuomo within the governor’s workplace advised the Post he routinely berated them, making feedback corresponding to calling them “pussies” and saying, “You have no balls.”
Azzopardi insisted that in his eight years within the governor’s workplace, he “never heard” Cuomo use “coarse language.”
Hinton stated of Ajemian’s denial of her account that “attacking the accuser is the classic playbook of powerful men trying to protect themselves.”
She stated watching Cuomo’s information convention Wednesday defending himself “drove me crazy.” Cuomo was repeatedly flirtatious with ladies, Hinton stated. She considered it as a part of a broader effort to control these round him.
The Post reached out to some 150 present and previous Cuomo workers from the Nineteen Nineties to the current. Of those that responded most requested that their names not be used as a result of many had been nonetheless frightened of the retributive, highly effective governor.
New York Attorney General Letitia James is in control of an investigation into the accusations.
Read the entire Washington Post article here.
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