New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, once hailed as the antithesis of President Trump for his handling of the coronavirus, is now facing calls for his resignation as another woman—making three in total–has come out to claim that Cuomo sexually harassed her at a wedding in September 2019.
According to the New York Times, Anna Ruch was at a wedding reception when Cuomo was doing that asshole thing that politicians do when they realize that people think they’re important, and they start schmoozing with guests and cracking lame jokes and shit.
When Cuomo encountered Ruch, she thanked him for the kind words he said about her friends, who had just gotten married. Ruch, who spoke with the Times, then claims that’s when things got super weird, super fast. Cuomo allegedly placed his hand on her bare lower back, which she quickly removed with her hand. Cuomo then reportedly called Ruch “aggressive” and grabbed her face with both hands, asking if he could kiss her. Cuomo was so loud that allegedly one of Ruch’s friends who was standing close by heard him. Ruch claims that she pulled away as Cuomo began moving in closer.
“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” Ruch told the Times, who didn’t just take her word for it. They also spoke with a friend who confirmed her account and read text messages shared after the moment. Oh, and there is a photo of Cuomo with his hands on her face, which you can see here. “I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment.”
Ruch’s account of Cuomo’s reportedly unwanted sexual advances comes just days after two other women have claimed that the New York governor sexually harassed them in the workplace.
A spokesperson for Cuomo didn’t comment to the Times on Ruch’s claims but did point the newspaper to the governor’s lame-ass apology in which he acknowledges that some of his actions may “have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”
“To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” the statement said.
Cuomo’s bullshit-ass apology was so lame that even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio came out against it.
“He seemed to be saying, ‘Aw, I was just kidding around,’” de Blasio said. “Sexual harassment isn’t funny. It’s serious and it has to be taken seriously.”
Representative Kathleen Rice, a former Nassau County district attorney and a Democrat, has called for Cuomo to resign.
From the Times:
The political woes of Mr. Cuomo — already under fire for his handling of nursing homes in the pandemic and his abrasive approach to governance — deepened last week when Lindsey Boylan, a former top economic development official, posted a lengthy essay outlining a workplace environment where “sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.”
She described a series of uncomfortable interactions with Mr. Cuomo, including an unsolicited kiss in 2018, which the governor has strenuously denied.
Then, on Saturday, Ms. Bennett recalled her own encounters with Mr. Cuomo in the spring, when she said the governor asked her personal questions, including whether she had slept with older men, whether she was monogamous, and whether she thought age mattered in relationships. Ms. Bennett is 25; the governor is 63.
The interactions, which Ms. Bennett described in a series of interviews with The Times, left her certain that the governor was suggesting a sexual relationship.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me,” Ms. Bennett told The Times, saying she felt scared and upset. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it.”
Ruch told the Times that the entire encounter during Sept. 2019 made her uncomfortable. From him touching her bare back to him asking her for a kiss, it all made her feel embarrassed.
“It’s the act of impunity that strikes me,” Ruch said. “I didn’t have a choice in that matter. I didn’t have a choice in his physical dominance over me at that moment. And that’s what infuriates me. And even with what I could do, removing his hand from my lower back, even doing that was not clear enough.”
Ruch told the Times that once she gathered herself that evening, she went looking for the governor to tell him about himself but she couldn’t find him.
“I would have rather just said it that night,” she told the Times. “I wanted to say, ‘That wasn’t OK.’”