Investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal law.
The women, the majority of whom worked directly under the governor, provided the special deputies testimony and physical evidence for an investigation that concluded almost five months to the day it began.
A number of his accusers responded following the release of the report thanking their supporters and the investigators, and repeating calls for the governor to step down.
"The findings released today demonstrate what Charlotte Bennett stated publicly, at great personal cost, more than six months ago: Governor Cuomo sexually harassed her during her employment as his executive assistant and his enablers protected him and covered it up," Debra Katz, the lawyer for Charlotte Bennett, said in a statement.
Bennett, a former Cuomo aide, said the governor asked her about her love life — including whether she ever had sex with older men — and talked about his own, saying that age differences didn’t matter in relationships and he was open to dating women over 22. She tweeted her own statement directly to the governor: "resign."
In an interview later Tuesday evening, Bennett said that she felt "vindicated" and called Attorney General Letitia James' words that she believes the accusers "validating." When asked if she thought Cuomo gaslighted her, Bennett said "absolutely."
"He's trying to justify himself by making me out to be someone who can't tell the difference between sexual harassment and mentorship," she said. "We have a report, we have the facts: The governor broke federal and state law...if he's not willing to step down, then we have a responsibility to act and impeach him. He sexually harassed me. I am not confused, it is not confusing. I am living in realty and it's sad to see that he's not."
Another former aide to Gov. Cuomo, Ana Liss, tweeted a thank you message to her supporters including other women who accused the governor of harassment. Liss has the governor asked her whether she had a boyfriend, once kissed her hand at her desk and greeted her at a reception where she was working with “Hey, sweetheart,” a hug and a kiss on both cheeks. The governor then put his arm around her lower back and waist as they posed for photo, Liss said.
An attorney for Alyssa McGrath, a current administrative assistant in Cuomo’s office, said her client was "profoundly grateful to the AG's team for taking this seriously and examining their reports thoroughly and carefully."
McGrath had told The New York Times in March that the governor looked down her shirt, quizzed her about her marital status, and told her she was beautiful, using an Italian phrase she had to ask her parents to interpret. She also alleged the governor kissed her on the forehead and gripping her firmly around the sides while posing for a photo at a 2019 office Christmas party.
Jill Basinger, the attorney for Lindsey Boylan, released a statement saying that her client "was the first person to bravely speak out about the Governor's pattern of sexual harassment and did so with the hope of making it safer for other women to com forward with their own stories." Basinger went on to say that they are "not surprised by the results of this investigation because we know the survivors are telling the truth. We believe them. We all witnessed the governor's retaliation."
The attorney for one accuser -- who has not come forward publicly -- said the governor "should not be in charge of our government and should not be in any position of power over anyone else."