Governor Cuomo apologizes after second accuser comes forward

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has acknowledged for the first time that some of his behavior with women had been “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”

Posted: Feb 28, 2021 6:55 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has acknowledged for the first time that some of his behavior with women had been “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”

He said Sunday he would cooperate with a sexual harassment investigation led by the state’s attorney general. In a statement released amid mounting criticism from within his own party, the Democrat maintained that he had never inappropriately touched or propositioned anyone.

But he said he had teased people and made jokes about their personal lives in an attempt to be “playful.” He said he now understands that some of his interactions had been “insensitive or too personal.”

GOVERNOR'S FULL STATEMENT: 
"Questions have been raised about some of my past interactions with people in the office.

"I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends.

"At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way. I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.

"I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.

"To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to.

"That's why I have asked for an outside, independent review that looks at these allegations.

"Separately, my office has heard anecdotally that some people have reached out to Ms. Bennett to express displeasure about her coming forward. My message to anyone doing that is you have misjudged what matters to me and my administration and you should stop now - period."

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