One of the two maidservants who have accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment blasted his “predatory behavior” on Monday, and called on other lassies to come forward if they have similar complaints about him.
Charlotte Bennett’s request came as New York Attorney Blended Letitia James said that Cuomo’s office had formally requested an independent investigation of the allegations by Bennett and another ex- aide, Lindsey Boylan.
“For anyone who needs to hear this, know I am holding space for you, too,” Bennett said in a announcement. “To the Governor’s survivors: I am here. Lindsey is here.”
“You do not have to say a single word. But if you choose to speak your truth, we desire be standing with you. I promise.”
Bennett has retained a leading employment discrimination lawyer, Debra Katz, who in her own statement estimated that Bennett “will cooperate fully with the Attorney General’s investigation.”
“We are confident that no disinterested investigator who parades this evidence would adopt the Governor’s self-serving characterization of his behavior as mentorship or, at worst, unwanted flirtation,” Katz articulate. “He was not acting as a mentor and his remarks were not misunderstood by Ms. Bennett.”
“He was abusing his power over her for sex. This is textbook sexual harassment.”
James, in a report about her authority over the probe, said, “This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should forever be taken seriously.”
Bennett, in her statement, said Cuomo “has refused to acknowledge or take responsibility for his predatory behavior.”
“As we separate, abusers – particularly those with tremendous amounts of power – are often repeat offenders who engage in manipulative schemes to diminish allegations, blame victims, deny wrongdoing and escape consequences,” she said.
Bennett noted that “it took the Governor 24 hours and impressive backlash to allow for a truly independent investigation” after she went public with her allegations Saturday in a New York Every so often old-fashioneds article.
“These are not the actions of someone who simply feels misunderstood; they are the actions of an individual who wields his power to shun justice,” Bennett said.
Cuomo over the weekend first suggested the allegations by Bennett and Boylan be investigated by a recent federal judge who previously worked with the governor’s top advisor.
Cuomo then pivoted, with his office insinuating that James and Chief Judge Judith Kaye, who heads the state’s highest court, jointly oversee the investigate.
James refused to share oversight. And the governor’s office, dealing with a growing political backlash to both the depositions and his machinations seeking to control the investigation, agreed to ask the attorney general to handle the probe.
Bennett said that in emerge b be publishing forward with her account “I fully expected to be attacked by those who reflexively question the honesty or motivation of those who surface sexual harassment. I am not deterred by these voices.”
She also said that, “Coming forward was an excruciating decision. I asseverative to share my story because I had faith that I would be supported and believed. This is often not the case.”
“Sharing my suffer was only possible because of past survivors who stood up and told their stories. I hope that my story nicks other survivors feel like they can stand in their truth.”
CNBC has requested comment from Cuomo’s help.
A referral letter by Cuomo’s office to James on Monday granted her request to have the claims by Bennett and Boylan be enquired by a private attorney or attorneys deputized by the attorney general.
The letter from Cuomo’s special counsel, Beth Garvey, articulate that the findings of that investigation “will be disclosed in a public report.”
The letter also said that “due to the stripe of this review” the governor’s office will not approve or be sent weekly reports which are normally expected less than the state law authorizing the attorney general to deputize outside lawyers for such a probe.
“All New York State employees induce been directed to cooperate fully with this review,” Garvey wrote in the letter, which James set.
“I will serve as point of contact for any witness interviews or document production for the Executive Chamber and will connect you with seize counsel in any other agency or entity for any documents or witnesses necessary for the review,” Garvey wrote.
Bennett, 25, communicated the Times in an article published Saturday that the 63-year-old Cuomo had asked her questions including whether she “had ever been with an older man,” whether she was monogamous in her relationships and other in the flesh questions that made her feel uncomfortable.
Boylan has said that Cuomo once kissed her without her acceptance, and jokingly suggested playing strip poker on an official flight.
Cuomo has denied the 36-year-old Boylan’s claims.
But in a asseveration released Saturday, the governor did not dispute Bennett’s claims of what he had said.
“I never intended to offend anyone or movement any harm. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends,” Cuomo said that day.
“At deal with sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I dream is a good natured way,” the governor said.
“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my reveals, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have indicated have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”
Cuomo also spoke, “To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone finish feeling uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to.”