October 21, 2021

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Cuomo Accused of Unwanted Advance at a Wedding: ‘Can I Kiss You?’ – The New York Times

2 min read

His accusers were not quiet, however: Charlotte Bennett, a former aide who accused Mr. Cuomo of sexual harassment, issued her first public statement since outlining her claims in a New York Times article, saying that the apology and attempted explanation issued by the governor on Sunday night was woefully inadequate.

“These are not the actions of someone who simply feels misunderstood,” Ms. Bennett wrote. “They are the actions of an individual who wields his power to avoid justice.”

Ms. Bennett also called on other women, if they had similar stories about Mr. Cuomo, to come forward. “If you choose to speak your truth, we will be standing with you,” she said. “I promise.”

At the same time, the initial stages of a pending investigation into Mr. Cuomo’s actions were underway inside the offices of the state attorney general, Letitia James, who was evaluating options for an outside investigator.

In the statement released on Sunday evening, Mr. Cuomo addressed his behavior, including “some of my past interactions with people in the office,” saying that he had often teased and bantered with his underlings, “being playful” in what he called “a very serious business.”

That, he suggested, had been misconstrued.

“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended,” he said.

A lawyer for Ms. Bennett, Debra S. Katz, cast doubt on the governor’s initial suggestion, released in a statement on Saturday night, that his relationship to Ms. Bennett was of a mentor to his employee, nearly four decades his junior.

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