‘Can I Kiss You?’ Woman Accuses Cuomo of Unwanted Advance, Shares Photo With the NY Times
A third woman has come forward alleging inappropriate behavior from Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In the past week, two former aides to the New York governor have accused him of sexual harassment, and there’s now an investigation into the matter — with support from some notable New York Democrats.
Anna Ruch spoke to the New York Times about, and provided them with a photo of, an encounter at a 2019 wedding reception where she met Cuomo for the first time, and alleges he asked her, “Can I kiss you?”
Ruch gave this account to the Times:
She recalled Mr. Cuomo moving his hand to the small of her back — exposed in an open-back dress — within moments of their being introduced and shaking hands at the reception.
Ms. Ruch said that touch, on her bare skin, discomfited her. “I promptly removed his hand with my hand, which I would have thought was a clear enough indicator that I was not wanting him to touch me,” she said.
Instead, Ms. Ruch said, Mr. Cuomo called her “aggressive” and placed his hands on her cheeks.
“He said, ‘Can I kiss you?’” Ms. Ruch said. “I felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed when really he is the one who should have been embarrassed.”
In response to the accusations from former aides earlier, Cuomo said in a statement, “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… I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. 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.”
The governor’s office referred the Times to that statement.
Charlotte Bennett, one of the former Cuomo aides speaking out, said in response to that earlier statement, “The Governor has refused to acknowledge or take responsibility for his predatory behavior.”
Following the release of the Times report, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY) said Cuomo should resign.
The time has come. The Governor must resign. https://t.co/GjcvuNfpfQ
— Kathleen Rice (@RepKathleenRice) March 2, 2021
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