A staffer who has accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of groping her at the executive mansion said he slammed the door of his office and told her “I don’t care” when she protested, according to an interview published Wednesday.
The interview with the Times Union of Albany adds new details to the most serious accusation against Cuomo, who is being investigated after a series of women accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
The woman spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect her privacy, although her identity is known within the governor's circle, the Times Union reported.
“I remember him slamming (the door) so hard that I remember thinking to myself that I’m sure the staff is, like, ‘Is everything OK up there?’ He came right back and he pulled me close and all I remember is seeing his hand, his big hand,” the woman told the newspaper of the incident she says happened in November.
Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately but said he’s sorry if he made anyone uncomfortable.
The woman told the Times Union she had been summoned to the mansion from the nearby Capitol in November to help him with a problem with his iPhone. She said that when she reached his office on the second floor of the mansion, he began groping her in a sexually aggressive manner.
“I said to him, I said, ‘You’re going to get us in trouble,'" she recalled. “I didn’t know what else to say. … It was pretty much like ‘What are you doing?’ That’s when he slammed the door (shut). He said, ‘I don’t care.’”
He then came toward her again and groped her, the woman told the Times Union .
“I don’t remember actually saying the word ‘Stop.’ I think I said, ‘You’re crazy,'" she told the newspaper. “I do remember saying that, and that’s when he ultimately stopped. ... Me saying ‘You’re crazy’ — that was definitely not something that he wants to hear. It definitely was a hit to his ego. … And then it was almost like instantly he was done. … He turned around and walked back to his desk. He didn’t say anything. I walked myself out to the front door and nothing was said. ... It was almost like I felt like a piece of garbage to him. I felt degraded.”
A month later, the woman said, she was taking dictation for the governor at his Capitol office when he brought up what had happened at the mansion.
“Near the end of it, he looked up at me and he said, ‘You know, by the way, you know people talk in the office and you can never tell anyone about anything we talk about or, you know, anything, right?’” she said. “I said, ‘I understand.’ He said, ‘Well, you know, I could get in big trouble, you know that.’ I said, ‘I understand, governor.’ And he said, ‘OK.’”
Cuomo has brushed off widespread calls for his resignation and asked that people wait for the results of an investigation overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James. The state Assembly is conducting a separate investigation into whether there are grounds to impeach the governor.
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