A third woman has come forward to publicly accuse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexually harassing her – and there’s a photo to back it up.
Anna Ruch, who worked on the Biden campaign, said The New York Times that Cuomo put his hand on her bare lower back moments after being introduced to a wedding in 2019.
“I quickly removed his hand with my hand, which I would have thought was a pretty clear indicator that I didn’t want him to touch me,” she told the newspaper.
According to her account, Cuomo called her “aggressive” and placed his hands on her cheeks.
He said, ‘Can I kiss you? “, Remembers Ruch.
“I was so confused, shocked and embarrassed,” Ruch told the Times, who said her account was corroborated by the friend and photographs showing the governor clutching her face.
“I looked away and had no words at the time.”
Ruch’s account adds a new dimension to the political crisis facing Cuomo.
In a statement on Sunday, he half-apologized for his behavior in a statement, saying women “misinterpreted” his “playful” jokes, which he said could be “too personal”.
But the calls for his resignation are increasing; a former ally, Rep. Kathleen Rice of Long Island, tweeted Monday night that he should step down. “The time is right,” she wrote, with a link to Ruch’s account.
Earlier today, Cuomo formally made the referral that will allow State Attorney General Tish James to investigate allegations of sexual harassment made by ex-aides Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett.
Boylan, a current Manhattan borough presidential candidate, wrote last week that Cuomo gave him a non-consensual kiss after years of sexual advances.
Bennett, a former health aide, said Cuomo repeatedly asked her if she would be interested in sex with an older man and if she was monogamous in her relationships.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt terribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett said in an interview with the Times. “And I was wondering how I was going to get out of it and I thought that was the end of my job.”
In a Monday night tweet, Bennett expressed solidarity with Ruch.
“Anna – I hear you, I see you. I am really sorry. His inappropriate and aggressive behavior cannot be justified or normalized. Thank you for your courage and your strength. Here for you always, ”she said.
And Boylan tweeted, “It doesn’t make me feel validated. It makes me sick. I feel nauseous thinking about Anna’s experience. I send her love and light.
Some Democratic state lawmakers, including State Assembly members Ron Kim and Yuh-Line Niou, have also called on Cuomo to step down amid accusations of sexual misconduct, as well as alleged mismanagement. nursing homes in the state and their death toll during the COVID-19 pandemic. .
Other, as State Senator Jessica Ramos, said Cuomo should be stripped of his emergency powers as governor until the investigation is concluded, following the Times’ report Monday night.
Cuomo did not immediately comment on Ruch’s claims, with his office referring instead to his earlier statement, in which he said he treated his staff members like family and that his attempts at humor and collegiality had been misinterpreted as flirtation.
But Ruch is not on Cuomo’s staff. And she said she was stunned by Cuomo’s advances in such a public forum after indicating they were not wanted.
“It is the act of impunity that strikes me,” she said. “I had no choice in this regard. I had no choice but to have his physical domination over me at the time. And that’s what infuriates me. And even with what I could do, removing his hand from the lower back of my back, even doing that wasn’t clear enough.
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