WATCH: Former Aide Speaks Out About Cuomo’s Alleged Sexual Harassment, in First TV Interview: ‘He Felt Like He Was Untouchable’
Former aide Charlotte Bennett spoke out on air for the first time about her allegations of sexual harassment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying his unwanted advances were unmistakable and made her “deeply uncomfortable.”
Bennett made her comments in her first TV interview to anchor Norah O’Donnell during the Thursday broadcast of CBS Evening News. The discussion came four days after a bombshell report in the New York Times where Bennett became the second former Cuomo administration staffer to go public with claims that the New York governor propositioned her at work.
“Governor Cuomo said that he had never propositioned anybody. Do you believe that he was propositioning you?” O’Donnell asked, referencing Cuomo’s response to the allegations from Wednesday
“Yeah,” Bennett said.
Bennett noted that when Cuomo began harassing her in May of last year, he was being lauded across the country for his response to the Covid pandemic.
“So you think all this national attention may have emboldened him?” O’Donnell asked.
“Absolutely. I think he felt like he was untouchable in a lot of ways,” Bennett replied.
Cuomo became fixated on her history as a survivor of sexual assault, Bennett added, and, at one point, surreally repeated the phrase “you were raped” to her before later asking if that had made her incapable of sexual intimacy.
“He asked if I had trouble enjoying being with someone because of my trauma,” Bennett said.
“This seemed entirely inappropriate,” a clearly shocked O’Donnell said.
“The governor asked me if I was sensitive to intimacy,” Bennett added.
“In his office?”
“Yes…during the work day,” Bennett noted.
“What were you thinking as he is asking you these questions?” O’Donnell asked.
“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,” Bennett recounted.
When asked about her reaction to Cuomo’s “apology” from the day before, Bennett pulled no punches.
“It’s not an apology. It’s not an issue of my feelings. It’s an issue of his actions,” she stated. “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.”
Asked about Bennett’s allegations, Cuomo’s office referred back to the governor’s statement and apology on Wednesday and await the results of the New York attorney general’s investigation.
Watch the video above, via CBS News.
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