New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday he would not step down from his growing post. After a third woman came forward to allege improper conduct, the governor told a press conference that he felt “embarrassed” for the “pain I have caused” and pledged to cooperate with an investigation by the state attorney general.
“I never knew at the time that I was making anyone uncomfortable,” Cuomo told reporters after providing an update on the state’s response to the. “I never intended to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone pain. I feel terrible that these people felt uncomfortable, felt hurt, felt pain because of the interactions, and I’m embarrassed about it, and I feel bad about it. “
Cuomo’s former health policy adviser said the governor asked her about her sex life, including whether she had ever had sex with older men. His attorney, Debra Katz, said in a statement Wednesday that Bennett had reported Cuomo to his chief of staff and chief counsel.
“We are confident that they informed him of his complaint and we hope that the Attorney General’s investigation will show that officials in the Cuomo administration did not follow up on Ms. Bennett’s serious allegations or failed to ensured that corrective action was taken, ”Katz said.
, former assistant secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, accused Cuomo of giving him an unwanted kiss and making inappropriate comments. accused the governor of touching her lower back and face and asking if he could kiss her at a wedding reception in 2019.
“I have never touched anyone inappropriately,” Cuomo said Wednesday. Asked by CBS New York’s Marcia Kramer about a photo showing Cuomo putting his hands on Ruch’s cheeks, the governor said he understands Ruch’s feelings, but this is how he greets people.
“You can find hundreds of photos of me doing the same gesture with hundreds of people, women, men, children, and so on,” Cuomo said. “You can go and look for hundreds of pictures of me kissing people, men, women. It’s my usual and customary way of greeting … Besides, it was my father’s way. to greet people “, referring to the former governor.
The governor said he was going to learn from the women who showed up. “I understand that sensitivities have changed and behavior has changed, and I understand,” Cuomo said.
While Cuomo has denied sexually harassing anyone, some members of his own party are asking him to resign. On Monday night, Congresswoman Kathleen Rice became one of New York’s foremost Democrats to demand Cuomo’s resignation.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Monday that the findings of thein the allegations would be made public after its completion.
The allegations coincide with close scrutiny of Cuomo’s handling of. He faces a separate investigation into nursing home deaths during the pandemic.
Jericka Duncan, Caitlin Yilek, and Alex Sundby contributed to this report.