New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio railed against Governor Andrew Cuomo over the second sexual-harassment allegation that emerged over the weekend and said the governor’s behavior can no longer be “swept under the rug.”
“You cannot treat anyone this way,” de Blasio said in a Hot 97 radio appearance today. “It can’t be laughed off and it can’t be swept under the rug.”
De Blasio has tussled with the governor for years in rancor that came to a head over flawed power dynamics over city and state authority during the pandemic. On Monday, de Blasio called for a “thorough and fast investigation of both sexual harassment and nursing-home scandal,” he said. “All of this needs to be brought out because if you don’t, it just continues. If people don’t see consequences they continue their behavior.”
Cuomo on Sunday agreed to an independent probe by a special investigator after a second former aide, Charlotte Bennett, accused him of sexual harassment. Bennett, 25, accused Cuomo of asking her questions about her sex life and other intimidating behavior in an interview published Saturday by the New York Times. Last month, former economic aide Lindsey Boylan, who accused Cuomo of harassment in December, detailed her experience in a Medium post.
Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, has denied both claims. In a statement on Sunday responding to Bennett’s accusations, the 63-year-old said interactions he considered “playful” may have made others uncomfortable.
“I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,” Cuomo said. “To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”