WASHINGTON — The report issued Tuesday by the New York attorney general’s office graphically detailed numerous accusations of sexual harassment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor forcefully denied the allegations and ignored renewed calls for his resignation after the report was released.
Here are the 10 most explosive excerpts from the report:
- Cuomo engaged in “a pattern of inappropriate conduct” with a woman dubbed Executive Assistant #1, which included kissing her on the lips at least once, grabbing her buttocks during hugs, asking multiple times about whether she had cheated or would cheat on her husband, and once reaching under her blouse and grabbing her breast.
- The governor sexually harassed a New York state trooper assigned to his security detail on a number of occasions. Cuomo ran “his hand across her stomach, from her belly button to her right hip” as she held a door open.
- While the trooper was standing in front of him in an elevator, Cuomo ran “his finger down her back, from the top of her neck down her spine to the middle of her back, saying ‘hey, you.'” In another instance, the governor was accused of “kissing her (and only her) on the cheek in front of another trooper and asking to kiss her on another occasion, which she deflected.” Other troopers corroborated the accounts.
- In a series of conversations in 2020 with an aide, Charlotte Bennett, the governor made inappropriate comments, “telling Ms. Bennett, in talking about potential girlfriends for him, that he would be willing to date someone who was as young as 22 years old (he knew Ms. Bennett was 25 at the time).” Another time, after she told him she was considering getting a tattoo for her birthday, he said if she decided to do so, “she should get it on her butt where it couldn’t be seen.” He also asked “whether she had any piercings other than her ears.”
- Virginia Limmiatis came forward with her story after hearing Cuomo say in March that he had never touched anyone inappropriately. She alleged that at an event in 2017, she wore a shirt that had the name of the energy company she worked for written across the chest. When Cuomo reached her in the rope line, he ran “two fingers across her chest, pressing down on each of the letters as he did so and reading out the name of the energy company as he went.” . Then, Cuomo brushed his hand in the area between her shoulder and breasts. “He is lying again,” Limmiatis told investigators. “He touched me inappropriately. I am compelled to come forward to tell the truth.”
- Before and during her time as an aide to Cuomo, Lindsey Boylan said the governor made inappropriate comments, including once saying words to the effect of, “let’s play strip poker” while on a plane. He also allegedly touched her on various parts of her body, including her waist, legs, and back, and kissed her on the cheeks and, once, on the lips, said investigators, adding that they had corroborated her allegations, “including ones the governor and executive chamber denied.” When she came forward publicly with her allegation of sexual harassment, Cuomo and people in his office “actively engaged in an effort to discredit her, including by disseminating to the press confidential internal documents that painted her in a negative light.”
- Ana Liss, who worked for Cuomo from 2013 to 2015, said Cuomo “kissed her on the cheeks and hand, touched and held her hands, and slid his hand around her lower waist.” She described the workplace culture as “the twilight zone,” where “the typical rules did not apply.”
- The governor’s brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, and Lis Smith, who was the top communications aide on Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, were among those advising him on how to respond to the allegations.
- In his testimony, the governor “denied inappropriately touching Executive Assistant #1, Trooper #1, State Entity Employee #1, or Ms. Limmiatis in the way they described, and he generally denied touching anyone inappropriately.” “The governor did state that he often hugs and kisses people, mostly on the cheek and sometimes on the forehead,” but specifically denied kissing Executive Assistant #1 or Boylan. Investigators also said that regarding Cuomo’s conversations with Bennett, “the governor testified that he had ‘tread[ed] very lightly, because with a victim of sexual assault — and she was clearly fragile and in a delicate place — [he] was very careful’ in his conversations with her.” The governor also denied saying many the things she accused him of, they said.
- However, the report said, “Where the governor made specific denials of conduct that the complainants recalled clearly … we found his denials to lack credibility and to be inconsistent with the weight of the evidence obtained during our investigation. We also found the governor’s denials and explanations around specific allegations to be contrived.” Women who came forward described Cuomo’s conduct as “deeply humiliating,” and “uncomfortable” and described the work environment as “extremely toxic.”