AceShowbiz - New York governor Andrew Cuomo has spoken up on sexual harassment allegations leveled at him. Addressing the matter in public, he held a press conference on Wednesday, March 3 to deny the claims of inappropriate touching made by former staffers and other women.
"I fully support a woman's right to come forward and I think it should be encouraged in every way," Cuomo said at the news conference. Admitting to being "embarrassed" at himself for making people "uncomfortable," he acknowledged, "I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and, frankly, I am embarrassed. And that's not easy to say, but that's the truth."
The 63-year-old, however, denied the allegations. "I never touched anyone inappropriately. I never knew at the time I was making anyone feel uncomfortable," he insisted. "And I certainly never ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or caused anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do."
Noting that New York's attorney general is conducting an investigation into the allegations, Cuomo asked people to refrain from making baseless opinions on him. "I asked the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general's report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion," he implored.
With that being said, the former lawyer said that he would not resign as New York governor, adding that he was elected to serve New Yorkers and that the state has "a full plate." He explained, "We have COVID. We have recovery. We have rebuilding. We have a teetering New York City. We have a terrible financial picture. We have to do vaccines. So no, I'm going to do the job the people of the state elected me to do."
Three women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. One of them, Lindsey Boylan, a former economic adviser in his administration, described a nonconsensual kiss and touching from the governor amid a culture that "not only condoned but expected" sexual harassment and bullying.
Former executive assistant and health policy advisor Charlotte Bennett told The New York Times that, while they were alone in his office, Cuomo had asked her a series of invasive personal questions, including whether she ever had sex with older men.
A third woman, Anna Ruch, said on Monday that Cuomo put his hand on her bare lower back during a wedding reception in 2019. When she removed his hand, an act he dubbed "aggressive," he placed his hands on her cheeks and asked if he could kiss her.