A Medium article published Wednesday may be the last straw for embattled New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is already facing possible impeachment and investigation of an alleged cover up of COVID nursing home death data.
Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan said Cuomo made inappropriate comments to her, touched her back, arms and legs repeatedly, and kissed her on the lips on one occasion while she worked closely with him between 2015 and 2018.
Boylan had alleged that Cuomo harassed her in December, but declined to give details. Cuomo flatly denied the allegation at the time and it was dropped.
But last week, New York City Assemblyman Ron Kim and Mayor Bill DeBlasio both accused Cuomo of bullying, and that seemed to give Boylan the courage she needed to speak out more specifically this time.
“Let’s play strip poker.”
Her account was detailed and story-like, with enough specifics to give investigators others to talk to if they decide to pursue it.
She recounted Cuomo saying they should play strip poker on a taxpayer-funded private plane ride, right in front of a press aide and a state trooper.
She recalled a warning and even included the email from Stephanie Benton, the director of the governor’s offices, that she looked like a supposed ex-girlfriend of Cuomo’s and that he had a “crush” on her. Cuomo then began calling her “Lisa,” the girlfriend’s name, in front of other staffers.
Shortly after the unwanted kiss, Boylan says she couldn’t take it anymore and resigned.
“The idea that someone might think I held my high-ranking position because of the Governor’s ‘crush’ on me was more demeaning than the kiss itself,” she said.
Boylan says she wasn’t the only one Cuomo harassed. At least one other woman reported being afraid to reject Cuomo’s advances, but didn’t want to come forward.
At least one New York lawmaker called on Cuomo to resign after reading the article by Boylan.
“Governor Cuomo must immediately resign,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) said Wednesday. “And any elected official who does not immediately call for his resignation is complicit in allowing a sexual predator to continue leading the great state of New York.”