Andrew Cuomo has a complicated relationship with his constituents. On the one hand, he’s seen as someone who largely carried New York through the coronavirus pandemic. On the other hand, he’s taken heat for recent revelations of what went on at retirement homes during the worst of the outbreak. Now he’s in an entirely different kind of trouble.
Earlier this week, one of Cuomo’s former aides detailed how he sexually harassed her. Lindsey Boylan wrote an essay where she talked about his unwanted advances. Those advances are alleged to include a kiss in his office. Boylan left his administration shortly after this incident was supposed to have happened.
The kiss might have been the tip of the iceberg. It was far from the only time Boylan said Cuomo made her deeply uncomfortable.
Boylan described several years of uncomfortable interactions with Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, including an invitation to play strip poker on a government airplane and an email from another top aide suggesting that the governor thought she was a “better-looking sister” of another woman.
The aide was with the state’s economic development agency at the time. As part of the essay, she published Cuomo’s email. She added he routinely called her by the other woman’s name. Boylan said this was deeply degrading.
Andrew Cuomo Denies Allegations
Onlookers said the allegations were well laid out. So was the proof that at least some of the harassment was carried out. However, the governor’s office quickly and strongly denied Boylan’s account of events.
“Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false,” said Caitlin Girouard, the governor’s press secretary.
This is also not the first time the former aide made the allegations. She first brought up poor behavior in December on Twitter. At the time, she did not speak to the media or elaborate. She also didn’t provide any corroboration of the incidents.
On Wednesday, that changed. In the essay, Boyland said she told her husband. She also told her mother. She also provided details of the unwanted kiss.
“As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips,” Ms. Boylan wrote. “I was in shock, but I kept walking.”
Where There’s Smoke …
At the moment, Boylan’s accounts are largely he-said, she-said. However, there is evidence of the two meeting one-on-one. Those meetings could coincide with her accusations.
According to Cuomo’s official schedule, the two had four private meetings. Three of those meetings took place in the State Capitol; one, on the afternoon of July 19, happened in Mr. Cuomo’s office in Midtown.
The former aid also said the unwanted behavior started early on. She said she was told the governor “had a crush on her.” She also said he’d go out of his way to touch her “accidentally.”
Cuomo’s denials set up a showdown of sorts. However, there might eventually be some resolution. The New York Attorney General’s office announced an official investigation on Sunday.
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