Cuomo Sexual Harassment Accuser: He Was ‘Trying to Sleep with Me’
Former aide Charlotte Bennett reacts to New York governor's statement
A former aide for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke out for the first time about her allegations of sexual harassment against the Democratic governor.
During Thursday’s broadcast of “CBS Evening News," Anchor Norah O’Donnell said:
“Governor Cuomo said that he had never propositioned anybody.
"Do you believe that he was propositioning you?”
Bennett said, “Yes.”
O’Donnell said, “For what?”
“Sex," Bennett replied.
“The pandemic was obviously stressful for all of us, and he was on TV every day talking about it.”
“So you think all this national attention may have emboldened him?”
Bennett replied, “Absolutely. I think he felt like he was untouchable in a lot of ways.”
O’Donnell asked about one of the encounters Bennett has detailed.
“You just finished dictation, and the Governor is telling you he is lonely and looking for a relationship?”
“Yes. He asked if I had trouble enjoying being with someone because of my trauma," Bennett replied, referencing being a rape survivor.
O’Donnell said, “This seemed entirely inappropriate.”
Bennett added, “The governor asked me if I was sensitive to intimacy.”
O’Donnell said, “In his office?”
Bennett said, “Yes, during the workday.”
“He asked me if age difference mattered. He also explained that he was fine with anyone over 22.”
O’Donnell asked, “What were you thinking as he is asking you these questions?”
“I thought he’s trying to sleep with me."
"The governor is trying to sleep with me, and I am deeply uncomfortable, and I have to get out of this room as soon as possible.”
She added, “Without explicitly saying it, he implied to me that I was old enough for him and he was lonely.”
Bennett said on Cuomo's apology:
“It’s not an apology. It’s not an issue of my feelings. It’s an issue of his actions. The fact is that he was sexually harassing me, and he has not apologized for sexually harassing me, and he can’t even use my name.”
Earlier this week, Cuomo made his first public remarks since being accused of sexual harassment by three women.
“The lawyers say that I shouldn’t say anything until that review is over, I’m a lawyer too, but I want New Yorkers to hear directly from me on that."
Cuomo also hired convicted serial rapist Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer amid the allegations.
Cuomo's administration hired attorney Elkan Abramowitz as federal investigators probe his office’s handling of nursing home patients across NY State during the pandemic.