New York Gov Cuomo rocked by fresh sexual assault claims

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is in fresh trouble after a second aide accused him of sexual allegations.

Charlotte Bennett, a health policy adviser to Mr Cuomo until November, in an interview with The New York Times said he had harassed her last year.

Mr Cuomo has denied any inappropriate behaviour and ordered an independent inquiry into the allegations.

This comes months after a another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, accused the governor of sexually harassing her.

Ms Bennett, 25, told NYT that the governor had asked her numerous questions about her personal life including whether she believed that age made a difference in romantic relationships.

She said he had also suggested that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s.

In the interview, she said that in June last year Mr Cuomo had talked about feeling lonely during the pandemic and had asked her whom she had last hugged.

She said she dodged the question by saying she missed hugging her parents, but she believed the conversation had been another overture.

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

Ms Bennett said she informed Mr Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, after the interaction and less than a week later was transferred to another job.

She said she had decided not to seek a formal investigation because she “wanted to move on”. No action was taken against Mr Cuomo.

Meanwhile, Mr Cuomo in a statement said he believed he had been acting as a mentor to Ms Bennett.

He said he had “never made advances toward Ms Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate”.

“The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported,” Mr Cuomo said.

He said he had authorised an external review of the matter, and called on all New Yorkers to “await the findings of the review so that they know the facts before making any judgements.”

 

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