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A third woman alleges unwanted sexual advances from NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

This comes at a time while the governor is also under scrutiny for the COVID-19 nursing home deaths last year.

March 1, 2021 9:33pm

Updated: March 1, 2021 9:57pm

A third woman has stepped forward to claim sexual harassment from the embattled governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo.

Anna Ruch, now 33 and a former member of the Obama administration who worked on Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign, says she met Cuomo for the first time at a crowded wedding in September of 2019. Upon confronting Cuomo, Ruch thanked him for the kind words he had said about the couple getting married. Cuomo proceeded to put his hand on her bare back, and she quickly removed his hand.

At that point, according to the New York Times, "the governor remarked that she seemed 'aggressive' and placed his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend standing nearby to hear. Ms. Ruch was bewildered by the entreaty, she said, and pulled away as the governor drew closer."

Ms. Ruch's recollections were corroborated by her friend who was nearby, and by "contemporaneous text messages and photographs." Ruch stated that she was confused, shocked and embarrassed. "I turned my head away and didn't have words in that moment."

These allegations come at a time when Governor Cuomo is under siege with other allegations of unwanted sexual advances, and on the day that it was revealed in a Wall Street Journal report that his administration has hired an attorney to represent the governor and his top aides in the investigation into the COVID-19 nursing home deaths last year. 

A number of Democrats have called on the governor to resign, and the state attorney general, Letitia James, is looking at various options regarding an independent investigation into the sexual harassment allegations. 

Cuomo released a statement on Sunday saying that some of these interactions with people in his office were just "being playful" and had been misconstrued. "I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended," Cuomo said.

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