Cuomo acknowledges behavior may have been 'misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation'
News 12 Long Island has learned an independent investigation is likely now that a second accuser has come forward with sexual harassment allegations made against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo addressed the allegations, writing in a statement, "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 that extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that."
The statement is in response to a former aide who came forward and recounted to the New York Times instances in which she says the governor inappropriately questioned her sex life.
Charlotte Bennett says Cuomo asked during a June conversation such questions as if she was monogamous in her relationships and if she had sex with older men.
Bennett left the governor's office in November.
"There should be an independent review of these allegations. They're serious. It was hard to read that story as a woman," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Bennett's allegations came on the heels of former aide Lindsey Boylan's accusations last week.
In a post online, Boylan said Cuomo asked her to play strip poker on his taxpayer-funded jet.
After a one-on-one briefing with the governor in 2018, Bennett says she "got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of her and kissed her on the lips."
The governor has denied allegations from both women.
Cuomo initially tried to appoint an independent reviewer to look into the allegations, but New York Attorney General Letitia James rejected that and insisted on an independent investigation by an outside law firm with subpoena powers.
The attorney general will now hire a law firm. Then, attorneys there will be deputized by her office, which will oversee what it promises will be a rigorous and independent investigation.