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Cuomo Says He’s ‘Embarrassed’ By Allegations, Denies Touching Anyone Inappropriately

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Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo addressed allegations of sexual misconduct during a press conference Wednesday, saying he is “embarrassed” by the allegations but that he never touched anyone inappropriately.

The governor promised to fully cooperate with an investigation into the allegations, noting that though his lawyers told him not to discuss the matter until the review is over, he wanted New Yorkers to hear his thoughts directly from him.

“I fully support a woman’s right to come forward, and I think it should be encouraged in every way,” Cuomo said. “I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it.”

“I feel awful about it and frankly,” he continued, “I am embarrassed by it. That’s not easy to say, but that’s the truth.”

Cuomo twice emphasized that he has “never touched anyone inappropriately” and twice said that he never knew at the time that he “was making anyone feel uncomfortable.”

“I certainly never ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain,” Cuomo said. “That is the last thing I would ever want to do.”

Cuomo asked New Yorkers to “wait for the facts” from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. During questioning from reporters, the governor also said that he does not plan to resign.

Cuomo also specifically addressed allegations from Anna Ruch for the first time. Ruch told the New York Times Monday that she met the New York Democrat at a September 2019 New York City wedding reception.

Ruch said the governor put his hand on her bare back, moved close to her, told her she was “aggressive” when she removed his hand, placed his hands on her cheeks and asked her if he could kiss her. Her friend later told her that he had kissed her cheek, she said.

Cuomo said Wednesday that kissing is his “usual and customary way of greeting” but that he is sorry if he made Ruch uncomfortable with his behavior.

Two other women have accused Cuomo. Charlotte Bennett, a former member of Cuomo’s staff, told the New York Times that the governor asked her about her sex life, asked her whether she practiced monogamy, whether she was interested in older men, and discussed her past sexual assault with her in an uncomfortable manner. Bennett also said that Cuomo suggested he was open to dating women her age and that she believes he was grooming her.

Lindsey Boylan, another former staff member, accused the governor of kissing her without her consent during a one-on-one briefing, making her uncomfortable, and making a number of sexually charged comments to her.

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