Liss says when she worked for the governor, about six years go, he asked her if she had a boyfriend, and made gestures that, in her eyes, objectified her.
Friday, the governor again denied ever touching anyone inappropriately during an afternoon conference call with media, where he questioned the motivation of accusers.
“I won’t speculate about people’s possible motives, but I can tell you as a former attorney general, who has gone through this situation many times, there are often many motivations for making an allegation,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Liss said she was thrown off by the governor’s tone Friday.
“I was thrown off by the tone and tenor of the governor’s remarks today,” Liss told News 8 Friday. “I don’t believe he’s showing any sensitivity to the stories being shared or acknowledgment. We’re all being called liars and I find that really offensive and problematic.”
Earlier this week, in a sit down interview with News 8, Liss said one of the governor’s senior advisers called her before all of the allegations started coming out, asking Liss if she had spoken with Lindsey Boylan, Cuomo’s first accuser.
The Wall Street Journal is now reporting five other women claimed Cuomo aides reached out to them for the same reason. We caught up with Liss Friday for her reaction.
Adam Chodak: So now that you’re hearing this happened to other former aides, what are your thoughts on that?
Ana Liss: “My thoughts are this must only be the tip of the iceberg. I remember when I was contacted by the administration in December, feeling somewhat intimidated and also wondering, ‘gosh, how many other women are being contacted? Why are they contacting me? I guess they must have seen it too.
AC: You were called while you were on your honeymoon and they had asked you whether you had been contacted by Lindsey Boylan. What about the conversation left you feeling intimidated?
AL: The tone in Rich Azzopardi’s voice sounded nervous and his voice was faltering a little bit. He said that he had an awkward question to ask me and he asked me if Lindsey had reached out to me. He asked if I had spoken with Lindsey. The answers at that point in time was no and he asked me if he did indeed reach out to let him know. And I immediately felt like that was inappropriate and what if she did reach out to me, what if I did talk to her, why was that any of his business and that of the governor, I don’t work there anymore and I felt professionally intimidated because I still work in something of a political environment, I was afraid that my livelihood might be in danger if indeed I ever did choose to say something.
AC: Did he every explicitly ask you not to talk to the media or publicly about any of this?
AL: The conversation didn’t last very long, he didn’t say those things. I certainly walked away with the thought that there would be repercussions, backlash if I did open my mouth.