April 7, 2021

Cuomo Aide Says Governor ‘Groomed’ Her for Months Before Groping

By Jesse McKinley

1,270 words

A woman who has accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of groping her in the Executive Mansion said that she warned him, “You’re going to get us in trouble.”

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Refreshed on April 14, 2021 at 4:51:19 am

Headlines and popularity

  1. Cuomo Aide Says Governor ‘Groomed’ Her for Months Before Groping
  2. Cuomo Aide Says Governor Groomed Her for Months Before Groping

Revisions

April 14, 2021 at 4:51 am CHANGED
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  ALBANY, N.Y. — A woman who has accused Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of groping her in the Executive Mansion gave a fuller account in a published report on Wednesday, detailing how she believed the governor had groomed her for months with a series of tight hugs and sexually suggestive comments.
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- She said in an interview with The Times Union of Albany that Mr. Cuomo asked about the status of her marriage, recalling that at one point last year, the governor told her, “Oh, if you were single, the things that I would do to you.”
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+ She said in an interview with The Times Union of Albany that Mr. Cuomo asked invasive questions about her personal life, recalling that at one point last year, the governor told her, “Oh, if you were single, the things that I would do to you.”
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  The groping incident followed later in 2020, said the woman, an administrative assistant who still works at the Capitol and who spoke on the condition of anonymity. In late November, she said the governor summoned her to his second-floor office at the Executive Mansion. The woman told The Times Union that Mr. Cuomo closed the door and reached under her blouse.
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  “He pulled me close, and all I remember is seeing his hand, his big hand,” the woman said in the interview. Moments later, the governor grasped one of her breasts over her bra, leaving her “so confused and so taken aback.”
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  Several current and former employees have lodged sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Cuomo in recent months, and other women have come forward with accounts of uncomfortable interactions with the governor.
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  The alleged groping in the Governor’s Mansion was the most sexually aggressive allegation, and it was forwarded to the state attorney general, Letitia James, who is overseeing an inquiry into sexual harassment claims against the governor.
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- Investigators deputized by Ms. James have already conducted interviews with several of the governor’s accusers. A separate State Assembly investigation is also underway, with a broader mandate which also includes looking at the governor’s handling of the state’s nursing homes, where more than 15,000 people died during the pandemic. Both investigations are scheduled to take months to complete.
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+ In a text exchange with The New York Times on Wednesday, the woman confirmed the details that she told the Times Union, as well as the fact that she had spoken to investigators deputized by Ms. James.
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+ She is one of several accusers who have been interviewed by the attorney general’s investigators led by Joon H. Kim, a former acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Anne L. Clark, a well-regarded employment discrimination lawyer.
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+ A separate State Assembly investigation is also underway, with a broader mandate which also includes looking at the governor’s handling of the state’s nursing homes, where more than 15,000 people died during the pandemic. Both investigations are scheduled to take months to complete.
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  Many of the state’s Democratic leaders have now asked Mr. Cuomo to resign, with some of those calls following the groping allegation.
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  The woman said that after the governor had groped her, she told him that he was “crazy,” a comment that she said seemed to hurt his ego.
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  At another point in 2020, the woman said the governor asked if she would “do anything with anyone else.” When she responded no, she said the governor said: “I’m single and ready to mingle.”
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  The governor broke up with his longtime girlfriend, the celebrity chef Sandra Lee, in September 2019.
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- Some elements of the woman’s account comport with an on-the-record interview by Alyssa McGrath, who told The New York Times in March that she too had been sexually harassed by Mr. Cuomo. Ms. McGrath, 33, told The Times that a woman had told her about a groping incident and that she and the woman — whom she described as a friend — would frequently be called on to work with Mr. Cuomo at the mansion.
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+ Some elements of the woman’s account comport with an on-the-record interview by Alyssa McGrath, who told The Times in March that she too had been sexually harassed by Mr. Cuomo. Ms. McGrath, 33, told The Times that a woman had told her about a groping incident and that she and the woman — whom she described as a friend — would frequently be called on to work with Mr. Cuomo at the mansion.
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  Ms. McGrath also told The Times she had been sent a text message of a photograph of the governor and the woman on New Year’s Eve 2019, sitting close together, their faces side by side — an episode that The Times Union referenced on Wednesday. The governor asked the woman to send the photo to Ms. McGrath, Ms. McGrath has told The Times.
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  While the woman was taking the photo of herself and the governor, he rubbed her buttock, she told The Times Union. “That was the first blatant move,” she said.

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Headlines

  • Cuomo Aide Says Governor ‘Groomed’ Her for Months Before Groping
  • Cuomo Aide Says Governor Groomed Her for Months Before Groping

Tags

  • Albany (NY)
  • Cuomo, Andrew M
  • Governors (US)
  • New York State
  • Politics and Government
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Times Union (Albany)
  • Workplace Hazards and Violations