Charlotte Bennett, a health policy adviser in the Democratic governor’s administration until November, explained to The New York Times that Cuomo did ask her inappropriate questions regarding her sex life, among the questions; whether she had ever had sex with older men.
Bennett said he had also said he was open to relationships with women in their 20s. Ms. Bennett announced she thought the remarks were clear offers to a sexual relationship.
She said that in June last year Cuomo had talked about feeling lonely throughout the pandemic and had asked her whom she had last hugged.
She explained that she dodged the subject by saying she missed hugging her parents, but she thought the conversation had been another overture.
"I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared and was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job," she said.
Bennett informed Cuomo's chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers after the interaction and less than a week later was shifted to a different job.
She explained that she had decided not to attempt a formal investigation because she "wanted to move on". No action was taken against Mr. Cuomo.
Another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, a past deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, recently attacked Cuomo for subjecting her to an undesired kiss and inappropriate comments. Cuomo denied the charges.
Cuomo announced in a statement Saturday that Bennett was a “hardworking and valued member of our team during COVID” and that “she has every right to speak out.”
He announced he had tried to be a mentor for Bennett, who is 25.
“I never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate,” Cuomo’s statement said. “The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.”
Cuomo, though, said he had authorized an outside review of Bennett’s accusations.
The governor’s special counsel, Beth Garvey, stated that a review would be conducted by a former federal judge, Barbara Jones.
“I ask all New Yorkers to await the findings of the review so that they know the facts before making any judgements,” Cuomo said. “I will have no further comment until the review has concluded.”