New details have emerged from the latest sexual harassment claim against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) in a report that alleges he reached under the blouse of an aide — his sixth accuser and a member of his Executive Chamber staff — and "aggressively" fondled her after luring her to his private residence in the governor's mansion.
What are the details?
On Tuesday, the Albany Times Union reported that the accuser, whose name is being withheld by the newspaper, disclosed that Cuomo had allegedly inappropriately touched her during an encounter at the mansion late last year. Although the woman has not filed a formal complaint herself, fellow staffers reported the incident to a supervisor and the allegations were reported to the governor's office and the New York attorney general's office over the weekend.
In a follow-up story on Wednesday, the Times Union revealed that according to a person with direct knowledge of the claims, the incident allegedly occurred after the aide "had been called to the mansion under the apparent pretext of having her assist the governor with a minor technical issue involving his mobile phone."
The source claims the aide and the governor "were alone in Cuomo's private residence on the second floor of the mansion when he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her."
The woman purportedly claims she asked the governor to stop, and the Times Union reported that "her broader allegations include that he frequently engaged in flirtatious behavior with her and that it was not the only time that he had touched her."
The allegation from the sixth accuser reportedly came to light at the governor's Executive Chamber on March 3, as staffers congregated to watch Cuomo's news conference that day where he denied ever touching anyone "inappropriately."
The Times Union reported:
Hearing those remarks, the female aide became emotional. At least one female supervisor came to her aide and asked her why she was upset. The female aide subsequently told the supervisor what she said had been [in] inappropriate encounters with Cuomo, the source said.
In reaction to the claims, Cuomo told the outlet:
"As I said yesterday, I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the attorney general's report."
Five other women have come forward in recent weeks alleging Cuomo sexually harassed them, and all incidents are currently being investigated in a probe led by the New York attorney general's office.
Prior to the sexual harassment claims, Cuomo was already under fire and facing calls to resign from Republicans and Democrats alike for allegedly underreporting fatalities in nursing homes last year over fears of political fallout for his executive order forcing facilities to take in COVID-19 patients.