News – AU – White House photographer says Cuomo put his hands on her face and asked her to kiss her


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will stay in office despite being asked to resign after allegations of sexual misconduct by three women

The Democrat said he “learned an important lesson” about his behavior towards women during his first public appearance since the allegations

“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” said Mr. Cuomo

“I was not elected by politicians, but by the people of New York State. I will not resign”

Mr Cuomo’s resignation was compounded when a third woman came out this week alleging the governor’s wrongdoing

Photographer Anna Ruch claimed Mr Cuomo touched her face and back and asked her to kiss her after they met at a wedding party

She told the New York Times that she removed the governor’s hand from her back and challenged him to say she appeared to be “aggressive”

She says he then put his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her

“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” 33-year-old Ms. Ruch told the Times, who posted a photo of the encounter showing the governor’s hands on her face,

The report by Ms. Ruch, who worked as a photographer at the White House during President Barack Obama’s second term, made her the second woman to accuse Mr. Cuomo of touching her without permission

The allegations led to broader calls for the resignation of Mr Cuomo, including some members of his own party

“Governor Cuomo’s pattern of sexual harassment and predatory behavior is unacceptable and I believe the women are standing up,” New York City Councilor Antonio Reynoso tweeted

The latest allegation follows allegations of sexual harassment against the governor by two women who worked for his administration These reports led New York’s independently elected attorney general to say it had opened an investigation into his behavior

Attorney General Letitia James received a letter from Mr. Cuomo’s office earlier this week authorizing her to direct the probe

Mr. Cuomo said he would “fully cooperate”

in an investigation into the allegations being monitored by Ms. James

She is in the process of selecting an outside law firm to conduct the investigation and document its results in a public report

One of his former coworkers, Charlotte Bennett, declined Mr. Cuomo’s attempt to apologize after alleging he interviewed her about her sex life and asked if she was open to a relationship with an older man

Ms. Bennett also tweeted that “Offenders – especially those of tremendous power – are often repeat offenders who use manipulative tactics to reduce allegations, blame victims, deny wrongdoing, and escape consequences”

After hearing the news of Ms. Ruch’s experience, Ms. Bennett tweeted to her, “His inappropriate and aggressive behavior cannot be justified or normalized. Thank you for your courage and strength”

She tweeted about Ms. Ruch’s experience with the governor: “This does not make me feel confirmed. It makes me sick”

In a statement over the weekend, he admitted that he raised people about their personal lives to be “playful” and funny

“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that because of my position, some of my comments made others feel in ways I never intended,” said Mr. Cuomo

“I acknowledge that some of the things I have said have been misunderstood as unwanted flirtation

Mr Cuomo’s testimony drew immediate backlash from critics who said he was placing responsibility on the women by saying they misread what he said

The harassment allegations follow allegations that he covered up the actual coronavirus death toll among nursing home residents

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Andrew Cuomo

News – AU – White House photographer says Cuomo put his hands on her face and asked her to kiss her