‘You Are a Monster’: N.Y. Politicians React after Second Harassment Claim against Cuomo

POLITICS & POLICY
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers remarks on the coronavirus at the Riverside Church in New York City, November 15, 2020. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

New York politicians criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday following a second allegation of sexual harassment.

Former health policy adviser Charlotte Bennett alleged that the governor harassed her in spring 2020, in comments to the New York Times. According to Bennett, Cuomo asked intrusive questions about her sex life, including an incident on June 5 during which the governor asked whether she was monogamous and if she had sex with older men.

“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the Times. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”

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Cuomo said in response to the allegation that he “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” However, the governor did not deny making the statements Bennett accused him of making.

Bennett’s allegations come after former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan accused the governor of sexual harassment, including kissing her on the lips without consent.

“[Governor Cuomo,] you are a monster, and it is time for you to go. Now,” State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, a Democrat who represents parts of Westchester and the Bronx, wrote on Twitter on Saturday. Biaggi has previously worked in the Cuomo administration, but told City and State on Friday that the current “behavior by the governor and his administration has really prevented New York from having good governance.”

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement that she supports an “independent review” of the allegations against Cuomo.

“Everyone deserves to have their voice heard and taken seriously,” Hochul said.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) took to Twitter to call for “an independent investigation – not one led by an individual selected by the Governor, but by the office of the Attorney General.”

New York mayoral candidate Mara Wiley also spoke out against the governor.

“I am disgusted. I believe Charlotte Bennett,” Wiley said in a statement. “Senior officials in the governor’s office were aware of his behavior. . . . What happened to these complaints? Why was no further action taken? How many other times has this happened?”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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