The latest account follows sexual harassment accusations against Cuomo by Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development official. She alleged that the governor harassed her several times from 2016 to 2018.
In the latest accusations, Charlotte Bennett, 25, who was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until last November, told the Times that the governor asked questions about her sex life, whether she was monogamous and if she had ever had sex with older men.
At one point last June, Bennett told The Times, the 63-year-old governor said when they were alone in his office in the state Capitol that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s.
He also reportedly complained then of being lonely during the pandemic, adding: “I can’t even hug anyone.” When Bennett said she missed hugging her parents, she said he responded: “No, I mean like really hugged somebody.”
Bennett told the Times: “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 said she revealed the encounter to Cuomo’s chief of staff less than a week later and gave a long statement to Judith Mogul, a special counsel to the governor. She was moved into a new position on the other side of the Capitol. Bennett decided not to press for an investigation and “move on,” according to the Times.
Bennett on Wednesday tweeted a link to Boylan’s accusations, adding: “For those wondering what it’s like to work for the Cuomo admin,” read Lindsey Boylan’s story. That’s when the Times contacted her.
In a statement to the newspaper Cuomo said he had tried to be a “mentor” to Bennett, whom he described as a hard worker. The governor said he “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.”
Cuomo didn’t deny asking her personal questions. He told the Times that Bennett had revealed to him she was a sexual assault survivor, and that he had tried to be supportive.
He said he was requesting an independent review of the accusations.