New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally spoke up about the accusations of sexual harassment made by two women against him. He denied these accusations and mentioned that some of the things he had said were “misinterpreted.”
In a statement Cuomo released on Sunday, he said he never meant to offend or cause harm to anybody.
He also said that he thought he was “being playful” while at work and that he made jokes he thought were funny. He also admitted that he sometimes teases people but in “a good-natured way.”
The governor admitted that he has teased people regarding their personal lives and relationships. He added that he only wanted to add “some levity and banter” to a workplace wherein people mostly just discuss “very serious business.”
In his statement, Cuomo also recognized that he may have said insensitive and overly personal things. He also mentioned that, with this and his position, he may have made other people “feel in ways I never intended.”
The New York governor then apologized to the people who “misinterpreted” him. He said he acknowledged that what he may have said might have been seen as “unwanted flirtation.”
He, however, defended themselves, saying he never touched anyone inappropriately, “never propositioned anybody.”
Cuomo also mentioned that he did not intend to make anybody uncomfortable.
Independent Investigation on Accusations Against Cuomo
Lindsey Boylan was the first one to accuse the governor of sexual harassment. She claimed that Cuomo kissed her on the lips without getting her consent. She also said the governor touched her legs and even made jokes about strip poker. Boylan also mentioned that this has been happening for years.
Another accuser who came forward is Charlotte Bennett. She alleged that the governor asked her if she was in a romantic relationship with anyone. Bennett said he also asked if she stayed monogamous during that relationship. She also claimed that he asked if she had ever been together with an older guy.
Regarding this, Cuomo said that people in New York “deserve answers to” these claims. Therefore, he said that he asked for “an outside, independent review” that will investigate the allegations.
Last week, the New York governor chose former Barbara Jones, a former U.S. District Judge, to conduct the said investigation. However, Cuomo backtracked after some people criticized him about it as Jones was previously a law partner to Steve Cohen, a close advisor to Cuomo.
With this, the governor announced in a new statement that State Attorney General Letitia James and Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiore together would choose an “independent and qualified lawyer.”