One of the seven women who have accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment spoke to investigators on Monday.
Charlotte Bennett, 25, a former aide, met with investigators in a Zoom meeting for more than four hours, her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement to news outlets.
Bennett detailed her allegations and provided more than 120 pages of contemporaneous records and other records to corroborate her accusations.
Bennett and her legal team remain confident that the probe will substantiate the sexual harassment claims against Cuomo, 63, and the failure of his senior staff to meet their mandatory reporting requirements under laws the Democrat himself signed.
Bennett “also provided detailed information about the sexually hostile work environment the Governor fostered in both his Manhattan and Albany offices and his deliberate effort to create rivalries and tension among female staffers on whom he bestowed attention,” Katz said. “One new piece of information that came to light today was the Governor’s preoccupation with his hand size and what the large size of his hands indicated to Charlotte and other members of his staff.”
Attorneys Joon Kim and Ann Clark are leading the team investigation the allegations against Cuomo. They were appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat.
The New York legislature is conducting a separate probe and over 100 state lawmakers have urged Cuomo to resign.
The third term governor, though, has refused to step down, asking voters to withhold judgment until the investigation is completed.
Cuomo has denied inappropriately touching anyone and specifically rebutted Bennett’s account, saying in a recent statement that “I never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.”
Bennett is one of several former aides to allege Cuomo sexually harassed her. She told CBS earlier this month that Cuomo “is a textbook abuser.”
“He lets his temper and his anger rule the office, but he was very sweet to me for a year in the hope that maybe one day when he came onto me I would think we were friends or that it was appropriate or that it was okay,” she said.
Cuomo began inquiring about her love life and repeatedly talked about Bennett’s history of being sexually assaulted, the former aide also alleged.
“I think it’s really strategic. I think abusers look for vulnerabilities, previous traumas, the idea that maybe I’m more willing to accept behavior because I have a history of sexual violence. Perhaps I’m not as confident in myself because of my history,” she said.
Cuomo has continued performing the role of governor, and he held a press conference on Long Island on Monday. Cuomo’s office didn’t allow reporters to attend the event.