Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett calls governor ‘textbook abuser’ in interview

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In this photo provided by CBS News, Norah O'Donnell, left, interviews Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell, Thursday March 4, 2021, in New York. Bennett, 25, is accusing Gov. Cuomo, 63, of sexual harassment. (Adam Verdugo/CBS News via AP)


A 25-year-old former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has accused him of sexual harassment, referred to as the Democrat a “textbook abuser” in a brand new interview that aired Friday.

“He’s a textbook abuser,” former aide Charlotte Bennett advised CBS’ Norah O’Donnell. “He lets his mood and his anger rule the workplace, however he was very candy to me for a 12 months within the hopes that possibly at some point, when he got here onto me, I’d assume we have been associates or that it was acceptable or that it was okay.”

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Cuomo has apologized after claims from a number of ladies in current days that he acted sexually inappropriately in the direction of them, however has denied he was attempting to proposition them. It additionally comes as he faces one other brewing scandal over his dealing with of nursing dwelling deaths through the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo has mentioned he will not resign.

The concentrate on the Democratic governor comes as CNN has given the sexual harassment accusations in opposition to Cuomo extra consideration over the previous two weeks, however initially, the liberal community and the governor’s brother, anchor Chris Cuomo, gave the controversies little to no airtime. Beforehand, the community gave Chris Cuomo free rein to conduct pleasant, comical interviews with the governor, who wrote a e book about efficiently dealing with the pandemic in the course of the pandemic.

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Bennett additionally advised O’Donnell — in an interview that first aired Thursday evening — that she believed the 63-year-old governor propositioned her for intercourse throughout a office assembly.

“With out explicitly saying it, he implied to me that I used to be sufficiently old for him and he was lonely,” Bennett mentioned.

She mentioned the governor, on the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, felt emboldened as his nationwide profile rose amid his day by day televised outbreak updates.

“I believe he felt like he was untouchable in loads of methods,” she advised O’Donnell.

Bennett has alleged that the governor referred to as her into his workplace on June 5 and advised her he was lonely and searching for a girlfriend.

In components of the interview, she reiterated claims she made when she got here ahead together with her accusations to the New York Occasions earlier within the week. She accused the governor of asking her if age distinction mattered and mentioned he advised her he was “tremendous” with anybody over 22 years previous. Bennett is 25. The incident allegedly occurred over the summer season.

In this photo provided by CBS News, Norah O'Donnell, left, interviews Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell, Thursday March 4, 2021, in New York. Bennett, 25, is accusing Gov. Cuomo, 63, of sexual harassment. (Adam Verdugo/CBS News via AP)

On this photograph offered by CBS Information, Norah O’Donnell, left, interviews Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, throughout CBS Night Information with Norah O’Donnell, Thursday March four, 2021, in New York. Bennett, 25, is accusing Gov. Cuomo, 63, of sexual harassment. (Adam Verdugo/CBS Information through AP)

“I assumed, he’s attempting to sleep with me, the governor is attempting to sleep with me,” she advised O’Donnell. “And I’m deeply uncomfortable, and I’ve to get out of this room as quickly as potential.”

She additionally ripped into the governor’s try at a public apology, made as reporters grilled him throughout his first information convention in additional than every week Wednesday.

“It’s not an apology,” Bennett mentioned. “It’s not a difficulty of my emotions. It’s a difficulty of his actions. The very fact is he was sexually harassing me and he has not apologized for sexually harassing me. And he can’t even use my title.”

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Bennett, who mentioned she had advised the governor she was a sexual assault survivor, accused him of harping on that facet of her background.

“He requested if I had hassle having fun with being with somebody due to my trauma,” she mentioned through the interview. “The governor requested me if I used to be delicate to intimacy … through the workday.”

He was her boss, O’Donnell famous.

She mentioned that because of the governor’s place, she felt like she didn’t have a alternative and had hassle escaping the dialog.

“Once I was even pondering of coming ahead, I believe that was after I had essentially the most disgrace,” Bennett mentioned. “I actually was uncomfortable. … I really feel like individuals put the onus on the lady to close that dialog down, and by answering I used to be someway participating in that or enabling it. … It didn’t really feel like I had a alternative.”

Throughout a information convention Wednesday — his first since three ladies got here ahead with allegations in opposition to him — Cuomo apologized, denied figuring out that he was performing inappropriately and mentioned he has “discovered an vital lesson.”

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One other former aide, Lindsey Boylan, accused the governor of forcibly kissing her, publishing the allegations in an essay on Medium final week. And a 3rd lady with no skilled ties to the governor, Anna Ruch, accused Cuomo of creating undesirable advances, touching her uncovered decrease again and asking to kiss her.

Debra Katz, an lawyer for Bennett, mentioned Wednesday that the governor’s remarks have been “filled with falsehoods and inaccurate data.”

“The governor repeatedly mentioned he had no concept he made anybody uncomfortable,” Katz mentioned. “My shopper, Charlotte Bennett, reported his sexually harassing conduct instantly to his chief of employees and chief counsel. We’re assured that they made him conscious of her criticism.”



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