Critics are calling the apology issued late-Sunday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo after a second sexual harassment accuser came forward ‘tone-deaf’.
He brushed off the two incidents as jokes that were ultimately misinterpreted.
Then a third accuser came forward, noting that Gov. Cuomo asked to kiss her at a wedding. A photo that captured the moment was heavily shared on social media after the New York Times report was published.
“When is it a joke to say ‘Do you have sex with older men?’,” asked Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, who represents a part of Manhattan. “I felt like it was very much gaslighting instead of an apology, and I think a lot of women read it that way.”
Gov. Cuomo has not had a public appearance since the first accuser, Lindsey Boylan, published her account of several incidents in a Medium piece. His office did not release a new statement after the third accuser came forward.
“I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business,” the initial statement released on Sunday said.
But what happens next for Gov. Cuomo? That’s a question a lot of people have asked- both in Albany and beyond.
He could step down, or be impeached. If that happened, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul would become the state’s 57th governor, and the first woman to serve in the role.
Combatting sexual assault on college campuses was a major part of Hochul’s tenure with Gov. Cuomo. “Hochul spearheaded Governor Cuomo’s Enough is Enough campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses, hosting and attending more than 25 events. As the highest-ranking female elected official in New York State, she continues to be a champion for women and families across the State. In March 2016, she was elected as chair of the New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission,” her bio reads.
The Governor has no official events scheduled this week, despite having previously held nearly-daily press conferences to update New Yorkers on the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September, Lt. Governor Hochul spoke at a fountain dedication ceremony in Seneca Falls that was streamed live on FingerLakes1.com:
She also spoke in Newark later the same month at the Village of Newark Erie Canal Trail ribbon cutting ceremony that was also streamed live on FingerLakes1.com:
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