Andrew Cuomo is facing pressure to resign from his position as governor of New York after several women have accused him of sexual harassment.
Lindsey Boylen, age 36, was the first to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment on Dec. 13, 2020. Writing on Twitter, she explained, “Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched.” According to ABC News, Boylan accused Cuomo of inappropriate behavior on three different occasions. The first sexual harassment encounter took place in Jan. 2016, where Boylen’s boss informed her that Cuomo had a “crush” on her. This was the first in a series of what Boylen contends were incidents of untowardness on the part of the governor.
Charlotte Bennett, age 25, was the second to come forward against governor Cuomo with sexual harassment allegations. Bennett was a former aide to the governor, for whom she had worked since early 2019. Bennett told The New York Times that on Jun. 5, she had a private meeting with the governor in his state Capitol office, where he allegedly asked her uncomfortable questions about her sex life and if she ever had sex with older men. Bennett also felt uncomfortable, scared, and thought that the governor wanted to sleep with her. After this incident, Bennett resigned on Nov. 2020.
On Mar. 7, 2021, two more women accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. Karen Hinton, a former press aide, claims that Cuomo would frequently hug her in a manner that would make her uncomfortable. Hinton alleged that during a trip to Los Angeles in 2000, she and Cuomo were in a dimly lit hotel room where he hugged her in what Hinton described as “very long, too long, too tight, too intimate.”
Ana Liss, a former aide for governor Cuomo, also accused him of inappropriate behavior during her two years working there. Liss began working for the governor in 2015, where she explained his behavior towards her. Liss explained that he would often ask her if she had a boyfriend, called her names such as “sweetheart,” and described a time where
he touched her lower back and kissed her hand.
Governor Cuomo has since denied all the allegations and said he would not resign as it would be “anti-democratic”. In certain instances, Cuomo defended himself and apologized if he made anyone feel uncomfortable, saying that it was a customary greeting to hug and kiss people. In a press conference on Mar. 3, 2021, Cuomo addressed the sexual harassment allegations saying, “I feel terrible that these people felt uncomfortable, felt hurt, felt pain from the interactions, and I’m embarrassed by it. And I feel bad from it. I’m not in this business to make people feel uncomfortable. I’m here to help them… I feel badly that I did (hurt people), and I’m going to learn from it.”
Democrats and other politicians, including New York State Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, have come forward and supported the six women, insisting that the
allegations should be taken seriously while an investigation goes on. Although Cuomo has stated multiple times that he will not resign, if he were to be impeached by the New York court of appeals, Lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul would take his place and serve until 2023. Until the investigation is over, many New Yorkers are questioning whether Cuomo should serve out his third term.