cuomo allegations

‘No One Is Above the Law': Read Cuomo's Past Statements on Sexual Harassment

The three-term governor has a history of criticizing other men accused of sexually harassing women

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a sexually suggestive nature that created a hostile work environment for women," according to the state attorney general.

The release of the report Tuesday culminates a months-long investigation into allegations by many women, 11 of whom the attorney general found were harassed by the Democratic governor. 

"The facts are much different than what has been portrayed," the governor said in direct rebuff of the independent investigation. His comments Tuesday, which reflect the position he's taken for months now, deny any instance where he's been accused of sexually harassing someone.

Cuomo's denial of his accusers' claims stands in direct contrast with his previous statements on sexual harassment. According to his own records, the governor has long advocated for tougher laws and support for sexual harassment victims, and has publically condemned other politicians entangled in similar scandals.

Here's a list of previous public addresses and statements from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on sexual harassment:

May 17, 2013: Statement on Vito Lopez Allegations

"As I said yesterday, there should be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to sexual harassment and we must now send a clear message that this behavior is not tolerated. Vito Lopez should not spend another day in office, let alone a whole month. He should resign effective immediately and if he does not, he must be expelled."

December 31, 2013: Statement on Mikah Kellner and Dennis Gabryszak Allegations

"The latest reports of sexual harassment in the Assembly should be the last straw. This pattern of behavior is repugnant by every standard and directly contradicts the policies the Assembly has advanced for the last 20 years. Assemblymember Micah Kellner's conduct, confirmed by the Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee's investigation, has no place in New York State government. It is time for him to immediately deny these allegations or resign. Likewise, Assemblymember Dennis Gabryszak must immediately deny the allegations against him or resign. If they do not resign, the Assembly must send a clear message that they do not tolerate this abuse of women and should seriously consider moving to expel them if they seek to return this coming session. Enough is enough. It’s a new year; let’s start with a clean slate."

January 20, 2018: Statement at Women's March in New York City

"Now let's be honest. There's no surprise that there is sexual harassment against women. It has been an abuse of power for decades. To stand up and say I'm amazed that there's sexual harassment against women, reminds me of the line from Casablanca. Gambling. I'm shocked that there's gambling in Casablanca. We've had sexual harassment. But to see the limits, to see the extent, to see the cover-ups, where it was at the top levels of academia, the top levels of news organizations, the top levels of Hollywood, were just disgusting. It was disgusting."

May 7, 2018: Statement on Accusations Against Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

"The New Yorker has published an article on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, which reports multiple women making serious allegations of assault. No one is above the law, including New York's top legal officer. I will be asking an appropriate New York District Attorney to commence an immediate investigation and proceed as the facts merit. My personal opinion is that, given the damning pattern of facts and corroboration laid out in the article, I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as Attorney General, and for the good of the office, he should resign."

September 25, 2018: Statement on Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Made Against Supreme Court Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh

"There is a disrespect for women that this administration chronically exemplifies. After the Me Too movement, they did absolutely nothing when it came to sexual harassment. They have always diminished the charges of women. Always. Consistently. And they're doing it again. To cheapen or ridicule the pain a woman suffers from a sexual attack is disgusting—sexist and disgusting. To second guess how a woman should've acted after a sexual attack is sexist and disgusting. I mean it's just insensitive, you don't understand the pain, you don't understand how the system tortures a person who wants to come forward."

October 1, 2018: Statement on New York's New Sexual Harassment Prevention Laws

"While the federal government repeatedly ignores the voices of women speaking out against the scourge of sexual violence, in New York we are taking action. We are doing everything in our power to crack down on sexual harassment and ensure inappropriate workplace conduct is addressed swiftly and appropriately. These common sense policies will help employees and employers know their rights and responsibilities and help enforce the strongest anti-sexual harassment package in the nation."

June 12, 2019: Statement to Push State Legislature to Enact Additional Sexual Harassment Protections

"I think we have a moment in time today to recognize a major problem that has existed. A dirty little secret of society, which is that sexual harassment, sexual abuse of women is a widespread, pervasive issue that has gone on for years in a male-dominated society where men write the laws from their perspective and a male-dominated society where men enforced the laws. There has been an ongoing, persistent culture of abuse of women in terms of sexual harassment, assault, discrimination. But today's a different day and there have been revelations and exposure that is undeniable. Very power people in society have been outed and exposed as having abused women repeatedly with impunity for a long period of time. High level government officials, high level media officials, high level corporate officials—10, 20, 30 years of abuse that people got away with. And there comes a moment in time when society stands up and says enough is enough."

August 12, 2019: Statement on Signing of Legislation on New Workplace Harassment Protections

"There has been an ongoing, persistent culture of sexual harassment, assault and discrimination in the workplace, and now it is time to act. By ending the absurd legal standard that sexual harassment in the workplace needs to be 'severe or pervasive' and making it easier for workplace sexual harassment claims to be brought forward, we are sending a strong message that time is up on sexual harassment in the workplace and setting the standard of equality for women."

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