House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) broke her silence on allegations of sexual harassment recently lodged against New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, calling them “credible” in a statement made exclusively to Fox News.
“The women who have come forward with serious and credible charges against Governor Cuomo deserve to be heard and to be treated with dignity,” Pelosi said Sunday. “The independent investigation must have due process and respect for everyone involved.”
Two of Cuomo’s former aides came forward last week accusing the governor of sexual harassment as well as intimidation to get away with his actions.
Both Democrats and Republicans have called for an independent investigation into the allegations. Cuomo is already being investigated by the FBI and U.S. Attorney of Brooklyn for his administration’s cover-up of data related to the number of coronavirus deaths in New York’s nursing homes, NBC News reported.
The first sexual harassment allegation against Cuomo came from former top aide Lindsey Boylan, who worked for Cuomo from 2015 until she stepped down in 2018.
In a Medium post published Wednesday, Boylan said Cuomo made inappropriate comments to her, touched her on her legs, back, and arms, and kissed her without her permission on one occasion. She also said Cuomo asked her to “play strip poker” with him on a private plane ride.
She further claimed that other high-level staffers, including women, knew about Cuomo’s advances and at times helped to facilitate or at least excuse his behavior.
On Saturday, another former Cuomo aide, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett, came forward.
Bennett said the governor asked her detailed questions about her sex life, asked about a previous sexual assault she had endured, and said he was “open” to dating someone in their 20s.
Democrats turning on Cuomo
A number of Democrats have turned on Cuomo in recent days, including Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Democrats in the state legislature who are calling for the governor’s impeachment.
Cuomo responded to the allegations in a statement on Sunday, claiming he was only being “playful,” but realizes he “may have been insensitive or too personal,” Politico reported.
The governor also denied ever touching the women.