First, it was the underreporting of coronavirus-related nursing home deaths and the subsequent cover-up. Now, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) faces a growing list of sexual harassment allegations from former aides.
On the heels of a second former aide accusing the governor of sexual harassment, Cuomo finally responded in a press release and admitted that he “may have been insensitive” but claimed that he was only “being playful,” Fox News reported.
“I think I am being playful”
The governor’s statement on the developing scandal was a typical Cuomo-esque justification for why he believes some may have felt uncomfortable with his past actions inside and out of the workplace.
But don’t worry — the governor said he “never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm.”
“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good-natured way,” Cuomo wrote in the press release, just after his second accuser publicly came out.
He went on to admit that his past actions might have been “insensitive” and “too personal” before essentially turning the blame back on those making the sexual harassment claims.
“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,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo insisted in his questionable apology statement that he never “touched anybody” and “never propositioned anybody,” but his former deputy secretary for economic development, Lindsey Boylan, told a completely different story.
Last week, Boylan held nothing back about Cuomo’s alleged harassment in a post published on Medium. Some of Boylan’s claims included allegations that Cuomo went “out of his way to touch me on my lower back, arms and legs,” while also accusing him of an unwanted kiss in his office during a holiday party.
Like a true abuser, @NYGovCuomo continues to work behind the scenes to undermine the truth and to harm his many victims. His abuse of power never ends. He does not get to choose his judge and jury. We do. And what is abundantly clear to me is the governor should resign.
— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) February 28, 2021
On Saturday, The New York Times ran a story about Charlotte Bennett, another former Cuomo aide who has accused the governor of sexual harassment.
While Boylan and state politicians have called on Cuomo to resign over the growing scandal, there’s no indication that he’s considering taking that route. Though if more accusers eventually come out — and they almost always do — his days as the governor of New York could be limited.