The walls are closing in on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after a second woman came forward on Saturday accusing him of sexual harassment.
Charlotte Bennett, 25, worked as an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she was forced to leave, suffering from PTSD, in November.
In an explosive interview with The New York Times she revealed that Cuomo had been sexually harassing her in the spring of 2020 – when the pandemic was in full-swing.
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According to Bennet, Cuomo had asked probing questions about her sex life and repeatedly tried to sleep with her against her will.
Bennett said she felt compelled to blow the whistle on Cuomo after former staffer Lindsey Boylan came forward last Wednesday detailing how the New York Governor sexually assaulted her.
The Times then contacted Bennett, who said she wanted to fight back against how predator Cuomo “wields his power.”
News Punch reported on Wednesday:
In a blog post published Wednesday, former staffer Lindsey Boylan accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment and fostering a “toxic” work environment.
Boylan, the former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo, said that he repeatedly touched her body, attempted to kiss her on the mouth, invited her to play “strip poker” and overtly objectified her.
The former aide, who documented her experiences in a Medium post, said she has revealed her full story in the hope that it will “clear the path for other women to come forward.“
Boylan claims she was warned to “be careful around the governor” when she joined his administration as vice president at Empire State Development, with others warning her that his abusive behavior was well known.
She also alleges that Cuomo made unwanted advances at her numerous times, including unwelcome touching and a sudden kiss on the lips. He also allegedly made disparaging remarks, such as suggesting they play “strip poker” while on a flight and referring to Boylan as “Lisa,” the name of an ex-girlfriend she apparently held a resemblance to.
In another bizarre encounter, Boylan claims Cuomo arranged to meet with her alone in his office and showed off a cigar box he said was given to him by former President Bill Clinton while he worked in his administration. She took this as a reference to the former president’s affair with Monica Lewinksy.
Dailywire.com reports: Bennett started with the Cuomo administration in early 2019 as a briefer in the Manhattan office. Prior to that, she had graduated from Hamilton College in 2017, where she founded a sexual misconduct task force. In a matter of months, Bennett was promoted to senior briefer and executive assistant after Cuomo interviewed her; she said they shared connections with Westchester County and she had competed against one of his daughters in middle-school soccer.
Bennett said Cuomo periodically asked her about her dating life, but added, “I saw him more as a father figure. I wasn’t thinking about it as anything sexual.”
But on May 15, 2020, Bennett said, she arrived early in the morning at the Capitol around 7 a.m. to drop off some briefing papers and Cuomo reputedly queried her about her love life and whether she had a relationship with other members of the governor’s staff. The Times examined texts Bennett sent to another Cuomo staff member that discussed the meeting.
The Times reported:
Ms. Bennett said she had mentioned a speech she was scheduled to give to Hamilton students about her experience as a survivor of sexual assault. She said she had been taken aback by Mr. Cuomo’s seeming fixation on that element of her life experience. “The way he was repeating, ‘You were raped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed,’ over and over again while looking me directly in the eyes was something out of a horror movie,” she wrote in a second text to her friend. “It was like he was testing me.”
Bennett told the Times of the May 15 meeting, “Anything before it I now see differently. I now understand that as grooming.”
On June 5, Bennett claimed, Cuomo asked whether she had a love interest, whether she was monogamous, and whether she had had sex with older men. The Times examined texts that Bennett sent that same day to a friend delineating how upset she was from the meeting. She wrote, “Something just happened and I can’t even type it out or put it in a video,” adding that she and Cuomo had discussed “age differences in relationships.” She wrote the next day to her friend, saying Cuomo had queried her about whether she was having sex with others “while in my recent relationships.”
“He asked me if I believed if age made a difference in relationships and he also asked me in the same conversation if I had ever been with an older man,” Bennett told the Times, adding that Cuomo told her “he’s fine with anyone above the age of 22,” after the subject of her speech at Hamilton on her 25th birthday came up.
“A friend of Ms. Bennett’s, a former Cuomo administration official, said he had spoken to her shortly after the June 5 episode. He confirmed the contours of her account, saying that she had made it clear to him that she believed the governor wanted to have sex with her,” The Times reported.
Bennett said that at one point, she and Cuomo had discussed a tattoo she might be getting and he suggested she put it on her buttocks so a dress would cover it.
“Mr. Cuomo said in a statement to The Times on Saturday that he believed he had been acting as a mentor and had ‘never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.’ He said he had requested an independent review of the matter and asked that New Yorkers await the findings ‘before making any judgments,’” the Times reported.