A sixth woman has come forward and accused New York governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, the Albany, New York Times Union reported on Tuesday.
The encounter allegedly took place last year in the governor’s mansion, where the woman, a member of the Executive Chamber staff, had been called to work. Fellow staff members reported the alleged incident to the governor.
"All allegations that we learn of directly or indirectly are going promptly to the investigators appointed by the attorney general,” Beth Garvey, acting counsel to the governor, told the Times Union in a statement.
During a call with reporters on Tuesday, Mr Cuomo said he was unaware of the new allegations but hadn’t touched anyone inappropriately.
“First, I’m not aware of any other claim,” he said. “As I said last week, this is very simple, I never touched anyone inappropriately … I never made any inappropriate advances ... (and) no one ever told me at the time that I made them feel uncomfortable. Obviously, there are people who said after the fact they felt uncomfortable.”
The governor’s office reportedly learned of the allegation on Monday. It has not responded to a request for comment from The Independent.
The Times Union is withholding the identity of the accuser because it could not reach her for comment.
Five other women, including four other former staff members, have accused the governor of harassment, including making inappropriate comments about their appearance, asking questions about their sex life, and kissing a colleague without consent, all of which he denies.
New York lawmakers have called on Mr Cuomo to resign.
“I’m not going to resign,” Mr Cuomo said at a press conference last week. “I’m going to do the job the people elected me to do.”
He also said he “fully support[s] a woman’s right to come forward,” but denied any inappropriate conduct.
Previous accusers include Ana Liss, a former policy aide, who said the governor kissed her hand and asked about her personal life, as well as Karen Hinton, a former aide who said Mr Cuomo asked her about her marriage and hugged her in a way that was “very long, too long, too tight, too intimate.”
Two other former aides have also accused the governor of inappropriate treatment. Lindsey Boylan said the governor gave her an unwanted kiss, and Charlotte Bennett said Mr Cuomo was “grooming” her by asking her about her sex life.
Finally, Anna Ruch, who did not work for Mr Cuomo, said that the governor touched her lower back and asked if he could kiss her at a wedding, an exchange which was photographed.
Still, despite growing political pressure between those allegations and accusations his administration manipulated Covid data about nursing home deaths, Mr Cuomo remains popular with a majority of Democrats in the state, according to a new poll.
Some 73 per cent of New York Democrats still approve of Mr Cuomo’s job performance, according to a Morning Consult poll released on Monday, down 7 points since the harassment allegations began in February and 13 since January reporting about the nursing home first broke.
According to the data, he’s more popular than he was overall a year ago, and retains majority support, with a 52 per cent total approval rating.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies