New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a woman “I don’t care” when she protested about him sexually groping her at the governor’s mansion, according to a new interview with the woman published Wednesday.
The unidentified Cuomo staffer told the Albany Times Union that she was summoned to the governor’s residence in November to help him with his cellphone. She said that when she reached his office on the second floor, he began groping her in a sexually aggressive manner.
“I said to him, I said, ‘You’re going to get us in trouble,’” she told the outlet. “I didn’t know what else to say. … It was pretty much like ‘What are you doing?’ That’s when he slammed the door [shut]. He said, ‘I don’t care.’”
He then came toward her again and groped her, the woman told the Times Union.
The newspaper is withholding her identity, and she spoke on condition of anonymity to protect her privacy.
At least nine women, including several former Cuomo staffers, have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment against the governor. The allegations range from him making sexually suggestive remarks to kissing them without their consent or touching them in an aggressive manner.
The state attorney general’s office is conducting an independent investigation of Mr. Cuomo. The state Assembly also has opened an impeachment investigation.
The unidentified woman described Mr. Cuomo as making sure they were isolated in his office.
“I remember him slamming [the door] so hard that I remember thinking to myself that I’m sure the staff is, like, ‘Is everything OK up there?’” she said. “He came right back and he pulled me close and all I remember is seeing his hand, his big hand.”
She said, “I don’t remember actually saying the word ‘Stop.’ I think I said, ‘You’re crazy.’ I do remember saying that, and that’s when he ultimately stopped. … Me saying ‘You’re crazy’ — that was definitely not something that he wants to hear. It definitely was a hit to his ego. … And then it was almost like instantly he was done. … He turned around and walked back to his desk. He didn’t say anything. I walked myself out to the front door and nothing was said. … It was almost like I felt like a piece of garbage to him. I felt degraded.”
Mr. Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately but said he’s sorry if he made anyone feel uncomfortable.
The woman said a month after the encounter, she was taking dictation for the governor when he brought up the incident at the mansion.
“Near the end of it, he looked up at me and he said, ‘You know, by the way, you know people talk in the office and you can never tell anyone about anything we talk about or, you know, anything, right?’” she said. “I said, ‘I understand.’ He said, ‘Well, you know, I could get in big trouble, you know that.’ I said, ‘I understand, governor.’ And he said, ‘OK.’”
• This story is based in part on wire service reports.
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