A former aide says Gov. Cuomo was “trying to sleep with me” throughout a one-on-one assembly in his Albany workplace final yr — with the 25-year-old including that “he implied to me that I was old enough for him and he was lonely.”
Charlotte Bennett made the beautiful feedback in an interview that aired Thursday night time on the “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell,” saying that her then-boss Cuomo, now 63, requested probing questions on her intercourse life after they have been alone collectively on June 5.
“I thought, he’s trying to sleep with me. The governor’s trying to sleep with me and I’m deeply uncomfortable and I have to get out of this room as soon as possible,” Bennett mentioned.
“What made you think he was trying to sleep with you?” O’Donnell requested.
“Without explicitly saying it, he — he implied to me that I was old enough for him and he was lonely,” Bennett mentioned.
A second portion of the interview is ready to air Friday on “CBS This Morning,” and O’Donnell previewed a few of that in an look on the native CBS-2 News at 5.
O’Donnell mentioned that Bennett “says Gov. Cuomo is, in her words, a textbook abuser” and “even uses words like that she was groomed for this relationship.”
At one level in Thursday’s phase, O’Donnell requested Bennett if Cuomo was probably “emboldened” by all of the “national attention” he obtained from his televised coronavirus briefings.
“Absolutely. I think he felt like he was untouchable in a lot of ways,” she answered.
Bennett additionally instructed O’Donnell she had little doubt about Cuomo’s motives.
“Do you believe he was propositioning you?” O’Donnell requested.
“Yes,” Bennett answered.
“For what?” O’Donnell requested.
“Sex,” Bennett replied.
Bennett mentioned Cuomo’s questions on her intercourse life included asking “if age difference mattered.”
“He also explained that he was fine with anyone over 22,” she added.
The disturbing dialogue allegedly befell after Bennett, then an government assistant to the governor, was known as into Cuomo’s workplace to take dictation and he instructed her to show off the recorder.
“And then he explains at that point that he is looking for a girlfriend,” she mentioned.
“He’s lonely. He’s tired.”
During an earlier, May 15 dialog, Bennett recalled, Cuomo appeared fixated on her historical past of surviving sexual assault.
“So he goes, ‘You were raped. You were raped. You were raped and abused and assaulted,’” she mentioned.
Cuomo additionally introduced the topic up once more on June 5, Bennett mentioned.
“He asked if I had trouble enjoying being with someone because of my trauma,” she mentioned.
When O’Donnell mentioned that “appears extremely inappropriate, Bennett agreed.
“Yeah. The governor asked me if I was sensitive to intimacy,” she mentioned.
“In his office?” O’Donnell requested.
“Yes. During the workday,” Bennett mentioned.
O’Donnell instructed Bennett, “People will watch this and say, ‘Why didn’t you get up and leave?’”
”t didn’t really feel like I had a alternative,” she mentioned.
Bennett rejected the notion that she “misinterpreted” what Cuomo was saying to her, saying that “I understood him loud and clear. It just didn’t go the way he planned.”
Bennett — one in all three ladies who’ve made misconduct allegations in opposition to Cuomo — additionally rejected his certified apologies throughout a information convention on Wednesday, when he claimed that “I never knew at the time I was making anyone feel uncomfortable.”
“It’s not an apology,” she mentioned.
“It’s not an issue of my feelings. It’s an issue of his actions. The fact is that he was sexually harassing me and he has not apologized for sexually harassing me. And he can’t even use my name.”
The final comment was a reference to Cuomo’s response when a reporter pressed him about to whom precisely he was apologizing.
Cuomo mentioned, “the young woman who worked here, who said that I made her feel uncomfortable in the workplace.”
Cuomo and his press secretary have repeatedly denied different sexual harassment accusations by one other former aide, Lindsey Boylan, 36, now a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president.
The allegations by Bennett, Boylan and a 3rd girl — Anna Ruch, 33, who says Cuomo grabbed her face and kissed her at a Manhattan wedding ceremony reception in 2019 — are the topic of a pending probe by an independent law firm to be chosen by Attorney General Letitia James.
When requested for remark about Bennett’s TV interview, Cuomo’s workplace emailed excerpts of his Wednesday remarks, together with repeated references to the looming investigation.
“I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion,” he mentioned.
“Get the info please earlier than forming an opinion and the legal professional common is doing that evaluate. I’ll totally cooperate with it after which you should have the info and decide when you realize the info. “
Cuomo’s workplace additionally offered a Saturday assertion from particular counsel and senior adviser Beth Garvey, who mentioned, “Ms. Bennett’s concerns were treated with sensitivity and respect and in accordance with applicable law and policy.”
That assertion additionally included the untimely assertion that former Manhattan federal Judge Barbara Jones “will lead the review” of the allegations in opposition to Cuomo.