Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant and policy advisor to Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, appeared on CBS on Thursday to discuss alleged sexual harassment by the embattled Governor.
Bennett said that pandemic was "obviously stressful for all of us," noting that he had been on TV a lot since it started. According to Bennett, such public exposure "emboldened" the Governor. "I think he felt like he was untouchable in a lot of ways."
It wasn't until May, however, that the Governor allegedly started sexually harassing his aide. At this point he started asking her about her sexual history, especially her history as a survivor of sexual assault.
"So he goes, 'you were raped. You were raped and abused and assaulted,'" Bennett said.
On another instance, while she was in Cuomo's office to do "dictation," the Governor allegedly asked her to turn off the tape and told her about his loneliness. Cuomo had broken up with his girlfriend of 14 years, Sandra Lee, only a year ago.
"He asked if I had trouble enjoying being with someone because of my trauma," she continued. "The Governor asked me if I was sensitive to intimacy."
She noted that such comments were allegedly made in his office during the workday.
Cuomo also allegedly asked her if she was okay with older men. "He implied to me that he was old enough for me and he was lonely."
Bennett substantiated her claims with text messages which were sent to a friend the day of the encounter.
She further said that she felt "shame" when considering coming forward about Cuomo's alleged misconduct because she answered his questions honestly. "In fact I was just terrified," she said.
Bennett also rejected Cuomo's claim that his comments towards her were misinterpreted. "I understood him loud and clear," she insisted. "It just didn't go the way he planned."
The interview finishes with Bennett rejecting Cuomo's apology, noting that he was only apologizing for making her feel uncomfortable but not for actually sexually harassing her. "He can't even use my name," she said.
Cuomo has faced multiple scandals in recent weeks. Aside from Bennett, two other women, one of whom was former aide now running for Manhattan Borough President, Linsday Boylan, have accused the Governor of sexually harassing them.
The Governor has faced the sexual harassment charges alongside another scandal whereby the Governor has been accused of covering up deaths in nursing homes from coronavirus in order to disadvantage the Democrats during the 2020 presidential election.
As the scandals have surfaced, the Governor has faced calls from both sides of the partisan aisle to resign, with some even suggesting the Governor could be impeached.