Andrew Cuomo sits at a dinner table at the Tribeca Film Festival

Andrew Cuomo Did Sexually Harass Multiple Women, According to NY Attorney General’s Investigation

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According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, Governor Andrew Cuomo did, in fact, sexually harass multiple women in violation of state and federal law.

James’ office launched a months-long investigation into the matter after allegations against Cuomo, mostly from current and former aides, first began to publicly surface back in February of this year. Last month, Cuomo himself was questioned for 11 hours.

Investigators also questioned more than 35 people who have worked in Mr. Cuomo’s executive chamber. Those current and former employees described a workplace where job assignments are based on favoritism rather than job title. And while most of those interviewed reportedly did not witness overt sexual harassment firsthand, they did describe a workplace that is “deeply chaotic, unprofessional and toxic, especially for young women,” according to a New York Times report from March.

“Those interviewed described an environment where the senior executive staff regularly deride junior workers, test their dedication to the governor and make them compete to earn his affection and avoid his wrath,” the Times wrote, adding, “Mr. Cuomo and other officials seemed to focus on how employees looked and how they dressed. Twelve young women said they felt pressured to wear makeup, dresses and heels, because, it was rumored, that was what the governor liked.”

In a press conference Tuesday, James said that “the independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so, violated federal and state law.”

“Specifically,” James said, “the investigation found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed former and current New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”

James said that the investigation found Cuomo has “sexually harassed multiple women, many of whom were young women, by engaging in unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and by making inappropriate comments.”

“This investigation has revealed conduct that corrodes the very fabric and character of our state government and shines light on injustice that can be present at the highest levels of government,” she continued. “But none of this–none of this would have been illuminated if not for the heroic women who came forward.”

“I am inspired by all the brave women who came forward and more importantly, I believe them,” James said Tuesday.

Cuomo has previously issued a “sorry you feel that way” apology for making women feel uncomfortable while also denying any wrongdoing. He also blamed “cancel culture” for the reaction to the accusations.

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Cuomo gave a more detailed denial of the accusations that was so off-the-rails that we’ll have a dedicated breakdown separate from this article, so stay tuned.

(image: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.