Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has made some revelations on Sunday regarding the allegations of sexual harassment. He acknowledged that he may have made inappropriate remarks in the past and accepted that he doesn’t know where to draw a line and respect boundaries.
He accepted that he made certain remarks in the past that were politically incorrect and could be interpreted as flirtatious.
Cuomo, 63, said that he does have a habit of teasing people and digging out their personal lives and relationships. After revealing his deeds, he acknowledged that his interactions were insensitive and invades personal space of his employees.
He further accepted that he misused his position and power and made others feel uncomfortable. He ended his statement with an apology and explained that he understands that he was wrong.
The response of New York’s governor gives insight into how serious Ms. Bennett’s accusations were. His former aide wrote a letter last week in which she gave details of her experience and the damage it caused to her mental health.
Gov. Cuomo – known for his leadership during the pandemic – said that an independent investigation will be started on his behavior. Initially, he had elected Letitia James and Janet DiFiore to investigate his case, which received a lot of criticism. Since then Ms. James had rejected the proposition.
On Sunday night, Cuomo said that he would subpoena power to anyone who Ms. James delegates the investigation to. After Ms. Bennett published the essay, she has been seen giving several interviews regarding the sexual harassment allegations. She revealed that Cuomo once asked her to share elements of her sex life – whether or not she practiced monogamy and if she’s ever slept with older men.
Another incident about which she spoke was of him talking about his pleasures in dating women in their 20s. She even went out to say that the governor used to complain about being lonely and that he was looking for a girlfriend and making sexual advances at her.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared. And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.” – Bennett, 25, said.
Mr. Cuomo acknowledges that questions have been raised regarding his past interactions with people in the office. However, he claims that it was never the intention. He insisted that he has never inappropriately touched anyone or made unwarranted advances.
Despite these explanations, a lot of Democratic politicians, like Senator Chuck Schumer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kirsten Gillibrand, are not convinced and they demand a proper investigation.
In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that politicians from both parties are outraged and are gambling their way through this precarious situation. Some are calling for an impeachment whereas others want a clear-cut resignation.
The federal investigation is a must now that Ms. Bennett’s testimony has touched a nerve of women in the workforce. Right at the brink of #MeToo movement, Cuomo has ironically singed a legislation claiming that he wanted to protect and honor women. He was to honor those who have suffered pain and humiliation due to sexual harassment.
In his 2019 interview, he has said that people need to honor the women who find the courage to come forward and share their story. And so on Sunday night, he urged people not to call Ms. Bennett and show disapproval of her account.
Erica Vladimir – founder of Sexual Harassment Working Group – wants the governor to resign and claimed that he possesses bullying tendencies.
She said: “It’s not two separate sets of allegations. It is two examples of longstanding abuse, harassment, retaliation and the culture of a hostile work environment.”
It’s actually strange to see Cuomo offers apology because if he was so sure of his behavior Andrew Cuomo wouldn’t apologize to Charlotte Bennett. This means that the sex harassment case has some truth to it and not only should Cuomo apologize but he should also resign.
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