A second former aide to Andrew Cuomo has accused the New York governor of sexual harassment.
As reported by The New York Times on Saturday, Charlotte Bennett, who worked as an executive assistant and health policy adviser before leaving the Cuomo administration late last year, says that the governor repeatedly made unwanted comments with what she understood to be clear sexual overtones when they were alone.
On one such occasion in June, he allegedly asked her how she felt about age gaps in relationships before telling her that he would absolutely date a woman much younger than him. She says that he also talked about how much he missed physical contact during the coronavirus pandemic and repeatedly asked her when the last time she “really hugged somebody” was.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” she told the Times. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”
Bennett discussed the interaction with Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, in the days that followed, after which she was transferred to a different part of the New York State Capitol building to work as a health policy adviser. She also gave a statement to the governor’s special counsel, Judith Mogul, though declined to pursue a full investigation because she “wanted to move on.”
Cuomo addressed Bennett’s claims in a statement to the Times, saying that he “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” He has also denied similar allegations from former economic development adviser Lindsey Boylan, who has accused the governor of forcibly kissing her and repeatedly saying inappropriately sexual comments while she working for him.