Andrew Cuomo accused of sexual harassment by second former aide

Andrew Cuomo accused of sexual harassment by second former aide

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Charlotte Bennett, who served as a health policy adviser to Mr Cuomo until November, claimed in an interview with The New York Times the governor had asked her inappropriate questions about her sex life, including whether she had ever had sex with an older man.

Ms Bennett, who is 25, also alleged that she informed Mr Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, of the harassment she faced and then was transferred to another role less than a week later.

She said she had decided against pursuing a formal investigation at the time because she “wanted to move on” from the difficult situation.

Mr Cuomo has denied the allegations, asserting that he had “never made advances towards Ms Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate”.

Rather, he said he had intended to be a mentor to the 25-year-old.

“The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported,” the New York governor said.

Noting that Ms Bennett had been a “hardworking and valued member” of his administration “during Covid-19,” Mr Cuomo said the former aide “has every right to speak out”.

He also confirmed that he had authorised an external review of Ms Bennett’s allegations.

Ms Boylan accused Mr Cuomo of subjecting her to an unwanted kiss, unwanted touching and making inappropriate comments to her, including asking her to play strip poker while on his private jet.

Mr Cuomo has repeatedly denied Ms Boylan’s accusations as well, including when they emerged late last year and more recently, after Ms Boylan published an essay detailing her allegations.

The accusations have taken centre stage not long after the New York governor had been receiving praise over his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

That acclaim, however, has also taken a recent hit after a report claimed that New York’s state government had not provided a complete picture of the situation of coronavirus in care homes.

More than 15,000 people in New York care homes are believed to have died since the start of the pandemic, which has so far appeared to be the highest of any US state. Yet, until January, New York’s state department had recorded just over 8,500 deaths.

The Independent has contacted Mr Cuomo’s office for comment.

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