New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday night he was “truly sorry” if “some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,” as he sought to rebut claims by a former aide she was sexually harassed by him.
“To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable,” the 63-year-old said in a statement released by his office, adding he had teased people about their personal lives in an attempt to be “playful.”
“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” he said.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 24, 2021
Cuomo’s claim of innocence came after he asked the New York state’s attorney general and chief judge to appoint an independent investigator to examine the allegations of sexual harassment made against him.
Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett alleged he made several inappropriate remarks about her sex life, as Breitbart News reported.
Bennett claimed Cuomo asked her questions about her sex life during a conversation in his State Capitol office in June. The 25-year-old former executive assistant and health policy adviser to Cuomo said he was open to relationships with women in their 20s.
Last week, Lindsey Boylan, a deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo from 2015 to 2018, said the governor “sexually harassed me for years” in a post on Medium.
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 28, 2021
Cumo’s partial admission of wrongdoing came after a day of wrangling over just who should investigate his workplace behavior.
By day’s end, Cuomo acquiesced to demands that Attorney General Letitia James control the inquiry.
James said she expected to receive a formal referral that would give her office subpoena power and allow her to deputize an outside law firm for “a rigorous and independent investigation.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, said on CNN’s State of the Union, said: “There should be an independent review of these allegations. They’re serious. It was hard to read that story as a woman. And that process should move forward as quickly as possible and that’s something we all support and the president supports.”
Also, she said Joe Biden believes Bennett and Boylan “should be treated with respect and dignity.”
UPI, AP contributed to this story