Several days after a former aide to Andrew Cuomo detailed her sexual harassment accusations against the New York governor, a second woman has accused him of the same.
Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former health adviser to Cuomo, told The New York Times that Cuomo sexually harassed her last summer.
Per Bennett, Cuomo said in June that he was open to dating women in their 20s, asking her if she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships, the Times reported. Cuomo is 63.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett said.
She added that she spoke with Cuomo’s chief of staff and legal counsel about the incident, and she was promptly transferred to another job in a different building. Bennett said she decided against an investigation into Cuomo because she was happy with her new role.
Cuomo denied the harassment claims in a statement Saturday, saying he “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.”
He also called for “a full and thorough outside review” of these charges, led by a former federal judge.
“I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the review so that they know the facts before making any judgments,” Cuomo said.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,” Boylan wrote. “His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.”
Boylan alleged Cuomo “sexually assaulted me for year” in a series of tweets in December. She added that “many saw” Cuomo’s behavior toward her — which she said included unwanted kissing and touching — and simply did nothing.
Her post on Medium is the first time since making the accusations that she has gone into detail about them, saying that Cuomo once said to her, “Let’s play strip poker.” Boylan added that another former Cuomo aide confided that she, too, had experienced harassment from the governor. She did not name the aide.
In one 2018 encounter, Boylan alleged, Cuomo kissed her without her consent while the two were alone in his New York City office.
“As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking,” she wrote. “I left past the desk of Stephanie Benton. I was scared she had seen the kiss. The idea that someone might think I held my high-ranking position because of the Governor’s ‘crush’ on me was more demeaning than the kiss itself.”