A second former aide has come ahead to allege that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed her, asking deeply private questions on her intercourse life and making unusual feedback about her expertise as a sexual assault survivor.
In an interview revealed Saturday, Charlotte Bennett, 25, instructed The New York Instances that Cuomo had made undesirable sexual advances in the direction of her in a number of totally different encounters final spring.
“I understood that the governor needed to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett instructed the Instances. “And was questioning how I used to be going to get out of it and assumed it was the top of my job.”
The information comes simply days after one other former Cuomo aide, Lindsey Boylan, revealed a Medium essay alleging a number of years of sexual harassment at Cuomo’s fingers, together with an undesirable kiss on the lips. Cuomo has denied Boylan’s allegations.
Cuomo’s workplace supplied Insider with a press release denying that the governor made advances towards Bennett and saying he hadn’t supposed to behave inappropriately throughout their conversations. Cuomo’s assertion additionally introduced a “full and thorough exterior assessment” of Bennett’s allegations and urged New Yorkers to withhold judgment till the investigation’s findings are made public.
“Ms. Bennett was a hardworking and valued member of our crew throughout COVID. She has each proper to talk out,” Cuomo’s assertion mentioned, including that he had tried to behave as a mentor to Bennett. “When she got here to me and opened up about being a sexual assault survivor and the way it formed her and her ongoing efforts to create a company that empowered her voice to assist different survivors, I attempted to be supportive and useful.”
Cuomo continued: “The very last thing I’d ever have needed was to make her really feel any of the issues which might be being reported.”
Cuomo’s workplace additionally mentioned the investigation will likely be carried out by Barbara Jones, a former federal choose, and that there could be “no limits on the scope of Decide Jones’ assessment.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
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Bennett mentioned Cuomo responded surprisingly when she talked about her expertise as a sexual assault survivor
Bennett mentioned the primary disturbing incident involving Cuomo occurred on Could 15 on the Capitol, when the governor requested her if she was romantically concerned with different employees members. Later within the dialog, Bennett offhandedly talked about her previous as a sexual assault survivor and mentioned that Cuomo had a weird response.
Bennett supplied the Instances with textual content messages she despatched to a pal on the time about Cuomo’s remarks.
“The way in which he was repeating, ‘You had been raped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed,’ time and again whereas wanting me straight within the eyes was one thing out of a horror film,” Bennett’s textual content mentioned. “It was like he was testing me.”
Bennett instructed the Instances one other upsetting encounter occurred simply weeks later, on June 5. On that event, she mentioned Cuomo requested her private questions on whether or not her romantic relationships had been monogamous and if she had ever had intercourse with an older man.
Bennett mentioned that Cuomo by no means touched her throughout these encounters however that she interpreted his feedback as sexual advances.
The Instances confirmed Bennett’s allegations with considered one of her associates, who was not recognized, and Bennett’s mom, who she additionally instructed concerning the conversations.
Bennett mentioned she instructed Cuomo’s chief of employees concerning the June 5 encounter simply days later and gave a press release to a particular counsel to the governor that very same month. Bennett mentioned she was then transferred to a brand new job, which she was pleased with, and didn’t insist on an investigation as a result of she “needed to maneuver on.”
An announcement supplied to Insider from Beth Garvey, particular counsel and senior adviser to the governor, mentioned Bennett’s allegations “had been handled with sensitivity and respect and in accordance with relevant legislation and coverage.”
Garvey mentioned Bennett transferred to a job “wherein she had expressed long-standing curiosity” and “expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the way in which wherein it was dealt with.”