Andrew Cuomo is facing the creepiest sexual allegations yet after a second woman 37 years his junior complained that the New York governor sexually harassed her at a vulnerable moment in her life.
She detailed her allegations in an extensive interview with The New York Times.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” she told the newspaper.
The allegations are creepy not only because the accuser, Charlotte Bennett, is only 25– Cuomo is 63– but because she considered Cuomo a “father figure.”
She even told him she played middle school soccer against one of his daughters.
The governor apparently pursued his daddy/daughter fantasy even after Bennett confided that she had been a victim of sexual abuse-something he acknowledged in a statement.
“When she came to me and opened up about being a sexual assault survivor and how it shaped her and her ongoing efforts to create an organization that empowered her voice to help other survivors, I tried to be supportive and helpful,” Cuomo said.
But his idea of help was to repeatedly bring up her experience.
“‘You were raped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed,’ over and over again while looking me directly in the eyes was something out of a horror movie,” she said in a text to a friend. “It was like he was testing me.”
She told The Times the governor began his advanced by gossiping with her about who she had been romantically involved with on the governor’s staff.
“We got along really well,” she said in a text message to her mother. She didn’t think anything of the questions about her dating life, at first, she added.
But Bennett said Cuomo was more interested in details about her sex life.
When they were alone in his office, Cuomo allegedly asked if she “had ever been with an older man.”
“He asked me if I believed if age made a difference in relationships, and he also asked me in the same conversation if I had ever been with an older man,” she recounted.
Then, he said he was “open” to dating women in their 20s. She assumed he was making a sexual advance and felt uncomfortable with the conversation.
Cuomo told her he was comfortable dating anyone over the age of 22, which is just about the age of the youngest of three daughters.
Cara Ethel Kennedy-Cuomo and Mariah Matilda Kennedy-Cuomo were born in 1995. Michaela Andrea Kennedy-Cuomo was born in 1997.
Cuomo was in a relationship with television chef and author Sandra Lee, from 2005 until 2019. Before that, he was married to Kerry Kennedy for 15 years. They split in 2005.
Bennett, who worked as an executive assistant before leaving government in November, said the governor asked her questions about her personal life on more than one occasion.
She said she came forward after Lindsey Boylan, 36, alleged in an essay published in Medium that Cuomo also hit on her in 2017, inviting her to play strip poker and kissing her on the lips.
Bennett said Cuomo never made an attempt to touch her but told her how lonely he was because he couldn’t “even hug anyone.”
The former aide said she tried to steer the conversation away by saying she missed hugging her parents.
“No, I mean like really hugged somebody?” Cuomo reportedly said, refocusing the conversation on her.
Cuomo told her Lee was “out of the picture,” and he was “wanting a girlfriend, preferably in the Albany area.”
“Anything before it I now see differently,” she said. “I now understand that as grooming.”
She was clearly distressed by the incidents and recounted her feelings of unease to a friend.
‘Something just happened and I can’t even type it out or put it in a video,’ she wrote in a text.
Bennett said she told Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, about the incident and was transferred to another job away from him on the opposite side of the Capitol building in Albany.
She also said she also reported the incident to the governor’s special counsel, Judith Mogul, shortly after it occurred. She also told her parents, friends and other staff members.
Cuomo essentially denied the allegations.
“The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.
‘This situation cannot and should not be resolved in the press; I believe the best way to get to the truth is through a full and thorough outside review and I am directing all state employees to comply with that effort.
“I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the review so that they know the facts before making any judgements. I will have no further comment until the review has concluded.”