NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (CBS) – Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing accusations from an eighth woman.
The New York Times reports that 33-year-old Alyssa McGrath, who is a current aide for the governor, has accused Cuomo of ogling her body, remarking on her looks and making suggestive comments to her and another executive aide.
In one specific incident, McGrath explained, “I looked up to see what was going on. And he was blatantly looking down my shirt.”
McGrath, the first current employee to speak publicly about allegations of sexual harassment, is close friends with another woman who has accused the governor of groping her breast in the executive mansion.
“She froze when he started doing that stuff to her,” McGrath said of the woman who has not been identified.
She also claimed that a coworker told her that the governor had asked her not to talk about the alleged incident, knowing that the two women “regularly spoke and texted about their interactions with Mr. Cuomo.”
Meanwhile, as political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, Lindsey Boylan, the governor’s first and most persistent accuser, is offering new and scintillating allegations of sexual harassment.
Now in an extended interview with the New Yorker magazine, she talks about a troubling encounter with the governor and his dog, Captain.
According to the magazine:
When the dog jumped up and down near her, Boylan said, she reached out to calm him, and then backed away. Cuomo, she said, joked that if he were a dog, he would try to “mount” her as well. Boylan said that she did not reply. “I remember being grossed out but also, like, what a dumb third-grade thing to say.” She added, “I just shrugged it off.”
Boylan, who has already told her story to investigators for Attorney General Letitia James, gave new information about the antagonism toward the governor’s longtime “frenemy” Mayor Bill de Blasio. At a pool party at the executive mansion, she saw a dartboard with de Blasio’s picture on it, she claimed.
“I couldn’t believe how brazen it was,” she said.
The mayor slugged back.
“The first thing I thought, you know, we know that Governor Cuomo, like Donald Trump, has become obsessed with the size of his hands, so I thought, with those big, big hands, how can he possibly hold those tiny, tiny darts?” de Blasio said.
The mayor said that Cuomo was being juvenile and guilty of frat house humor.
Earlier this month, the governor addressed Boylan’s charges of being kissed.
“I want you to know from me directly I never touched anyone inappropriately,” Cuomo said.
The New Yorker is also reporting that after Boylan went public with a series of tweets last December, a group of current and former staffers went into damage control mode to retaliate. The group, according to the magazine, included secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa, Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for the governor and Stephen Cohen, a former secretary to the governor. The plan they hatched was to leak Boylan’s personnel records, which included allegations she bullied colleagues. Some of them were women of color.
The Wall Street Journal said that lawyers for Cuomo accusers have been told James’ sexual harassment probe will also examine whether top aides took steps to intimidate accusers, whether they enabled the governor’s behavior, and how they handled complaints of sexual harassment.
Debra Katz, the attorney for Charlotte Bennet, told CBS:
As we have said before, it is imperative that this investigation not only focus on Governor Cuomo’s actions, but also on the culture of fear, abuse and secrecy that he and his most senior staff cultivated. To that end, we have full confidence in the investigation and the investigators.
Bennett, Boyland and Ana Liss have all spoken to investigators.
At an event in Yonkers, the attorney general refused to comment about how many people have come forward to her office to speak about the governor.
“Unfortunately I cannot give you a number,” James said.
Meanwhile, CBS has obtained further evidence of how the governor deals with adversaries.
It came in the fall of 2018 after Cuomo defeated Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic primary.
Nixon had been backed by the Working Families Party. A leader of the party told Cuomo it would back him in the general election because he was “better than a Republican.”
Audio shows Cuomo didn’t like that comment one bit.
“If you ever say ‘he’s better than a Republican’ again, then I’m going to say ‘you’re better than a child rapist.’ How about that?” Cuomo can be heard saying.
Team Cuomo says the governor has no recollection of that conversation.
“This three-year-old conversation happened after a very contentious political campaign where things were charged on all sides. He doesn’t remember it occurring,” Spokesman Rich Azzopardi said, adding it was hyperbole “to illustrate the offensive nature of the WFP’s own name-calling.”
Cuomo did not have any public events Friday and his office did not respond to a request for comment.
Compounding the governor’s problems, the Wall Street Journal says a federal investigation into the administration’s nursing home actions is now looking into legislation that originated in the governor’s office to protect doctors, nurses, hospitals and nursing homes from lawsuits and criminal liability related to the pandemic.
Cuomo has asked New Yorkers to await the results of an investigation before drawing any conclusions.