Andrew Cuomo’s ex-assistant sues, alleges former government and top aides created ‘sexually hostile work environment’


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A former assistant to Andrew Cuomo has sued the disgraced former New York governor and several other high-profile aides in federal court, alleging she was retaliated against after complaining about the alleged misconduct by Cuomo.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday by Charlotte Bennett and names Cuomo and his former chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers; former secretary Melissa DeRosa; and Special Counsel Judith Mogul.

Bennett says in the lawsuit that Cuomo “subjected her to sexualized comments about her appearance” and “assigned humiliating and demeaning tasks to her.” She also said the former governor allegedly “subjected her to invasive and unwanted questions about her personal life, her romantic and sexual relationships, and her history as a survivor of sexual assault.”

The former aide also alleged in the lawsuit that Cuomo said he was ‘lonely’ in a comment he made to her and wanted a girlfriend who lived in Albany, allegedly adding that he would be ready. to date someone over 21. Bennett was 25 years old. at the time of the alleged remark, according to the lawsuit.

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Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing another sexual harassment lawsuit.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool)

On Bennett’s first full day on the job on May 16, 2019, the lawsuit alleges Cuomo “called her into his office” and asked her a series of questions, which ultimately centered around personal relationships. Cuomo reportedly asked the new employee if she currently has a boyfriend and inquired about the length of her longest romantic relationship.

Bennett’s lawsuit describes the questions as “inappropriate” and said they made her “uncomfortable”.

After Cuomo allegedly asked Bennett to start traveling with him, he allegedly asked her a series of questions about her personal life, to which she replied “weightlifting, skiing and running.”

Cuomo then reportedly asked how much weight Bennett could do on the bench press as well as how many push-ups she could do, then challenged her to a “push-up competition.”

Bennett also alleges that Cuomo made “sexual advances” to her and cited an incident from June 25, 2020. She said in the lawsuit that while Cuomo was discussing a police reform proposal, he said the way whose mask Charlotte moves in and out of as she breathes reminds her of the monsters in “Predator,” the movie.

The lawsuit says Cuomo allegedly followed up by saying “If I was being investigated for sexual harassment, I would have to say I told her she looked like a freak.”

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Charlotte Bennett, former health policy aide to former Governor Andrew Cuomo, former aide to former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sued him on Wednesday, claiming he sexually harassed her, then had tarnished her reputation when she became the second woman to tell her story publicly.  .

Charlotte Bennett, former health policy aide to former Governor Andrew Cuomo, former aide to former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sued him on Wednesday, claiming he sexually harassed her, then had tarnished her reputation when she became the second woman to tell her story publicly. .
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

She alleges in the lawsuit that DesRosiers, Mogul and DeRosa all “aiding and abetting” the sexual harassment, and said Cuomo subjected her to a “sexually hostile work environment.”

When Bennett reported Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment to DesRosiers, the lawsuit alleges she was moved to a “lower position” on the Executive House health policy team.

The lawsuit also alleges that Cuomo “launched a campaign to publicly cast doubt” on the allegations made by Bennett and other women after he cooperated with state Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation.

Bennett, according to the lawsuit, experiences “nearly debilitating anxiety,” symptoms of depression, and began to suffer from a “chronic neurological disorder” because of what she says was a “direct result” of Cuomo’s alleged harassment. .

Bennett said in a statement that his career as a public servant was “cut short” due to Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment.

“My career as a public servant was abruptly cut short due to sexual harassment and retaliation by Governor Cuomo and his top aides against me after I complained about Governor Cuomo’s misconduct. They must all be held accountable for their actions,” Bennett said.

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Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Governor Andrew Ciuomo, attends the announcement that restaurants can be open for meals on wheels on September 30.

Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Governor Andrew Ciuomo, attends the announcement that restaurants can be open for meals on wheels on September 30.
(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Rita Glavin, who represents Cuomo, said in a statement to Fox News Digital that the former governor has always said he “didn’t harass anyone.”

“The Governor has always said he hasn’t harassed anyone and with each passing day more and more information is uncovered showing how evidence favorable to the Governor was suppressed and crucial facts ignored or omitted that undermined the credibility of witnesses during the discovery process? We will see them in court,” Galvin said.

The lawsuit comes after Cuomo filed an ethics complaint against James over his handling of the sexual harassment investigation that resulted in his resignation as governor.

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In the complaint, Cuomo said James violated rules of conduct and had “an intolerable personal and political conflict of interest.”

“She engaged in terrible and fairly obvious manipulation of facts, evidence and law, pursued a false narrative about me and hid evidence that undermined media and public reporting,” wrote Cuomo in the complaint.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.


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