A sixth woman has accused Andrew Cuomo of sexually inappropriate behaviour, the Times Union reported, claiming that the incident in question took place last year at the governor's Executive Mansion.
The unidentified woman is said to be a member of Cuomo's Executive Chamber staff. She alleges that the governor touched her without consent when she was invited to the mansion to assist Cuomo with work last year. The allegations only recently became known to the employee's supervisors, the Times Union says, adding that the governor's counsel, Beth Garvey, was alerted about the claims on Monday.
"All allegations that we learn of directly or indirectly are going promptly to the investigators appointed by the attorney general", Garvey told the newspaper, in a reference to the sexual harassment probe overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Speaking to journalists just an hour after the paper reported the new accusations, Cuomo denied that he was aware of the new claims. The 63-year-old governor also reiterated his previous remarks that he had never made any "inappropriate advances" toward women.
"As I said last week, this is very simple: I never touched anyone inappropriately", Cuomo said during the news conference. "… no one ever told me at the time that I made them feel uncomfortable. Obviously, there are people who said after the fact they felt uncomfortable".
Apart from the purported Executive Mansion employee, five other women have come forward to accuse Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, and sexually charged conversations.
One of the accusers, former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan, was the first one to publicly denounce the politician for "years" of harassment. Another ex-adviser, Charlotte Bennett, said that Cuomo had asked her intimate questions about her rape experience and whether she was okay dating older men, while Anna Ruch said he had touched her inappropriately during a wedding reception in September 2019.
Ana Liss, 35, then said that Cuomo repeatedly touched her "lower back" and asked her about her relationship status while she was working for the governor from 2013 to 2015. Karen Hinton's accusations go as far back as 2000. She says that Cuomo, then-US Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development to Bill Clinton, had once made passes towards her after inviting his staffer to a "dimly-lit" hotel room.
Last week, Cuomo apologised for any behaviour that he said could have made "people feel uncomfortable", but maintained that some of his jokes or "unwanted flirtation" might have been "misinterpreted". He never admitted that he had sexually harassed anyone.
Cuomo also refused to leave his post despite calls from fellow Democrats and an ongoing probe into sexual harassment accusations. The governor is also facing another scandal involving thousands of unreported COVID deaths that occurred in nursing homes across New York last year.