Cuomo Accusers Told Probers Ex-Gov. Was 'Checking Out' Every Woman at Work, New Transcripts Show
03:57 GMT 11.11.2021 (Updated: 13:26 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Jacquelyn MartinThis Wednesday May 27, 2020, file photo shows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a news conference in Washington.
© AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin
Earlier in the day, hundreds of pages of transcripts and documents from the NY Office of the Attorney General's investigation into sexual harassment charges against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo began pouring out.
According to the newly released transcripts, women accusing former Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment revealed the horrors of working with the disgraced politician, telling investigators how they were subjected to unwanted touching and obscene comments about their appearance.
One of the women, whose groping claim resulted in criminal charges being filed against Cuomo last month, Brittany Commisso, recalled, for instance, the governor making comments about her weight and wardrobe, as well as calling her "honey," "sweetie," and "Britannica."
"I would wear pants a lot … when I wore a dress, he would comment about how — it’s about time that you showed some leg,” she said in an interview with investigators, conducted in May. "I wore a dress with a blazer and he instantly noticed that I was wearing a dress and said, ‘Oh, it’s about time that you showed off some leg.'"
Commisso stated that when she walked into the room, Cuomo "would look me up and down."
"He had this way of making me feel like he was checking me out," she added.
"I remember looking down and I remember seeing his hand which is, I would say, a large hand, and over my bra," she said of the alleged assault on December 7 at the Executive Mansion, the governor's official residence.
© AP Photo / Office of the Governor of New YorkIn this image from video made available by the Office of the Governor of New York, Rita Glavin, attorney for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaks in Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, with a photo of Brittany Commisso, an executive assistant on Cuomo's staff.
In this image from video made available by the Office of the Governor of New York, Rita Glavin, attorney for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaks in Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, with a photo of Brittany Commisso, an executive assistant on Cuomo's staff.
© AP Photo / Office of the Governor of New York
The state Attorney General, Letitia James, published ten separate transcripts of interviews with Cuomo accusers on Wednesday. Each of the women met with outside lawyers hired by James to investigate Cuomo's purported misconduct.
32-year-old Commisso also said that the alleged groping occurred after prior inappropriate contacts with Cuomo, including him giving her awkward hugs and kisses while no one else was there.
"The hugs definitely got closer and tighter to the point where I knew I could feel him pushing my body against his and definitely making sure that he could feel my breasts up against his body," she said.
Commisso, who started working with Cuomo directly in November 2019, claimed she was afraid that if she pushed him away or hit him, she would be the one to get in trouble.
"I would be taken away by the state police officers and I would be the one that would get in trouble and I would be the one to lose my job, not him," she explained.
More to the transcripts' revelations, Lindsey Boylan, 37, the first former Cuomo staffer to come forward in February this year, described the Executive Chamber as "a terrible environment for everyone, whether they were sexually harassed or not" to investigators.
Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former aide who served as an executive assistant and health-policy advisor, revealed the barrage of nasty questions Cuomo allegedly asked her.
According to her testimony, Cuomo asked her if she had ever been with older men and discussed her past history as a sexual assault survivor during one conversation, leaving her "fully freaked out."
© AP Photo / John MinchilloCharlotte Bennett, a former health policy aide to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, participates in an interview in New York on Oct. 12, 2021.
Charlotte Bennett, a former health policy aide to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, participates in an interview in New York on Oct. 12, 2021.
© AP Photo / John Minchillo
The governor was accused of sexual harassment by at least 11 women in an August report following a month-long probe. Cuomo, 63, resigned a week later despite continuing to dispute the charges.
"I would have to lose my mind to do some — such a thing. It would be an act of insanity to touch a woman’s breast and make myself vulnerable to a woman for such an accusation," he explained.
On Tuesday, the New York Post published an excerpt from the upcoming memoirs by Cuomo's former press secretary Karen Hinton, who claimed in her book "Penis Politics" that her former boss made inappropriate sex and AIDS jokes and gossiped about the Kennedy brothers and their alleged relations with Marilyn Monroe, along with her sex life.
10 November 2021, 04:27 GMT