3rd August, 2021
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo swiftly denied any inappropriate conduct and ruled out resigning after a report commissioned by the state attorney general found him culpable of sexually harassing 11 women.
“I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo, a Democrat who has served as governor since 2011, said in pre-recorded remarks.
“I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am. And that’s not who I have ever been.”
The investigation showed that Cuomo engaged in unwanted groping, kissing and hugging, and made inappropriate comments to a total of 11 women, Attorney General Letitia James told a news briefing earlier on Tuesday.
She said the governor’s office had become a “toxic workplace” that enabled harassment to occur.
It was a civil investigation and will not directly lead to criminal charges against the governor.
“The facts are much different than what has been portrayed,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo sought to explain the encounters as his routine way of showing affection to others.
The video he released showed multiple pictures of him hugging and kissing men and women of different ages in seemingly consensual interactions.
President Joe Biden weighed in, describing the report as abhorrent.
“I don’t know that anyone could have watched this morning and not found the allegations to be abhorrent. I know I certainly did,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
Biden has previously said Cuomo should resign if the allegations were shown by an investigation to be true.