New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to sexual assault allegations against him, saying he was “being playful” with female colleagues and he is “truly sorry” for his actions.
"Questions have been raised about some of my past interactions with people in the office," Cuomo said in a press release on Sunday. "I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends."
"At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good-natured way," the governor said. "I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business."
Cuomo’s apology came days after his former aide Lindsey Boylan published a story alleging that Boylan forcibly kissed her once and sexually harassed her while she worked for him.
Also last week, a second former aide came forward to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment. Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser for Cuomo, claimed Cuomo asked her questions about her sex life and told her that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s. Bennett is 25.
In his statement, Cuomo said he is asking for an independent review into the allegations.
"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. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Spencer Platt/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.