The Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, spoke out on the sexual harassment accusations involving the governor of the state, Andrew Cuomo, saying that Cuomo's alleged behavior "sickened" him, as it was "disgusting" and "creepy", US media reported Monday.
"It sickened me, it sickened me," de Blasio reportedly said in an interview with a radio station. "The thought of a powerful man trying to take advantage of his power, intimidate a young woman and just the sense that he was treating her like — again these are allegations and we need a full investigation — but if that was what truly happened it was like he was treating her like she was his property. Just disgusting, creepy."
De Blasio went on to condemn the governor’s Sunday statement regarding the sexual harassment claims, in which Cuomo claimed he "sometimes" believed he was "being playful" at work and "made jokes" he thought were "funny."
"Sexual harassment is not funny... who the hell tries to explain that by saying I was just joking around," the mayor says, criticizing Cuomo's latest statement on the allegations.— Madina Touré (@madinatoure) March 1, 2021
The mayor also noted that he had previously heard the governor use similarly crude language towards the other employees, although "not in terms of sexual harassment."
Sorry, meant to say “though he notes not in terms of sexual harassment.”— Madina Touré (@madinatoure) March 1, 2021
De Blasio also called for a "full investigation" into the allegations against Cuomo. And on Sunday, he urged the New York state legislature to revoke Cuomo’s emergency powers amid the scandals the governor has found himself in.
My statement regarding the latest disturbing allegations against Governor Cuomo: pic.twitter.com/NfZgmJSrUD— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) February 28, 2021
Last week, former aide Lindsey Boylan described 63-year-old Cuomo’s alleged inappropriate behavior and his remarks. Boylan, who served in New York’s economic development department for several years, said the governor had asked her to play strip poker while they were flying on his private jet and touched her legs, arms, and lower back without her permission. She claimed she decided to resign from her position after the governor allegedly kissed her lips.
A second former aide, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett, has also recently spoken out against the governor, saying Cuomo had asked her several questions about her private life, including whether age could make a difference in romantic relationships. Bennett also said the governor told her that he is open to dating women in their 20s and was curious if she "had ever been with an older man".
Cuomo denied making any unethical acts in either of the cases and requested an independent investigation into the claims brought against him, although he admitted that as he "often jokes" with his employees, some of his remarks could have been seen as an "an unwanted flirtation".