Andrew Cuomo has apologized to his accusers and begged New Yorkers to not make a judgement until the NY attorney general completes her investigation.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference on March 3 to address the mounting sexual harassment allegations against him, apologizing to his female accusers for ‘any pain I have caused.’ The governor said he was ’embarrassed’ by the allegations, and denied he ever “touched anyone inappropriately.”
“I apologized several days ago. I apologized today. I will apologize tomorrow. I will apologize the day after,” Cuomo stated, saying that he didn’t know he ever made people uncomfortable. “I feel terrible these people felt uncomfortable, felt hurt, felt pain from the interactions.” he said. “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 by it.”
"I want to address the recent allegations that have been made against me," New York Gov. Cuomo says.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 3, 2021
The governor stated at the press conference that he intends to stay in office and cooperate with the attorney general’s investigation into the allegations. “I’ve learned an important lesson. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone. I never intended it. And I will be the better for this experience.”
Cuomo faces allegations from three women in their 20s and 30s, including two who worked with him. One woman, Anna Ruch, told The New York Times that the governor allegedly touched her face and lower back and attempted to kiss her at a wedding for one of his top aides, Gareth Rhodes. Rhodes’ wife, Alexa Kissinger, expressed support for Ruch on social media on March 1, tweeting, ““I am so proud of Anna for sharing her story. This pattern of behavior is completely unacceptable.”
A former aide to Cuomo, Charlotte Bennett, now 25, said that the governor harassed her in the workplace in June 2020. Bennett told The New York Times that Cuomo had allegedly asked her a series of personal questions, including if she considered a relationship with an older man. Cuomo denied the claims. Bennett called on other women to come forward if they were also allegedly harassed. “If you choose to speak your truth, we will be standing with you,” she said. “I promise.”
While acknowledging that his behavior could be considered “unwanted flirtation,” he claimed that he was just being affectionate. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people,” said, adding that included men and women. “It is my usual and customary way of greeting… You want people to feel comfortable.”