A second former aide of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has accused the veteran politician of sexual harassment, with a bombshell New York Times account revealing a fresh set of allegations against the Democratic executive, ones that Cuomo himself has not fully denied.
Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser for the Cuomo administration, told the newspaper that Cuomo had "asked her numerous questions about her personal life, including whether she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships, and had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s."
Bennett claimed that Cuomo had at one point also asked her "whether she was having sex with other people" in recent relationships, and had claimed to feel lonely after a recent split with his girlfriend.
Cuomo in a statement to the Times "did not deny that he asked Ms. Bennett personal questions," the paper reported, though he "said in the statement that he would have no further comment until [an internal review] concluded."
In a statement on the governor's website, Cuomo said he "never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate. The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported."
"This situation cannot and should not be resolved in the press," he said further. "I believe the best way to get to the truth is through a full and thorough outside review and I am directing all state employees to comply with that effort."
Beth Garvey, special counsel to Cuomo, said in that statement that Bennett's claims were "promptly escalated to special counsel," that she received a requested transfer to another part of the state government, and that she "expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the way in which [the matter] was handled."
The report comes just days after another aide of Cuomo accused him of sexual harassment. Former Special Advisor to the Governor Lindsey Boylan claimed that at one point Cuomo had kissed her on the lips after a meeting.