Charlotte Bennett, one of 11 women accusing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct, demanded his resignation Tuesday after an independent investigation found that he. In an exclusive interview with “CBS Evening News,” Bennett urged officials to begin impeachment proceedings if Cuomo refuses to step down.
“He’s trying to justify himself by making me out to be someone who can’t tell the difference between sexual harassment and mentorship and I think that’s absolutely absurd,” Bennett told “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Norah O’Donnell.
“We have the report. We have the facts. The governor broke federal and state law when he sexually harassed me and current and former staffers and we have a responsibility to take the set of facts — and if he’s not willing to step down, then we have a responsibility to act and impeach him.”
While detailing the findings of the investigation in a news conference earlier Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James said Cuomo sexually harassed former staffers as well as women who did not work for his administration, in violation of federal and state law.
“I am inspired by the women who came forward, but more importantly I believe them, and I thank them for their bravery,” James said.
Cuomo denied sexually harassing anyone in a recorded video statement on Tuesday.
“The facts are much different than what has been portrayed,” he said. “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
The governor also showed a photo montage of him kissing and embracing other people.
“I do kiss people on the forehead. I do kiss people on the cheek. I do kiss people on the hand,” he said. But he denied that his actions were sexual.
In an interview with “CBS Evening News” in March,she experienced. She said Cuomo made inappropriate comments to her, including asking her if her experience with sexual assault had led her to have trouble with intimacy. He also allegedly told her he was comfortable dating young women and was looking for a girlfriend, and asked about her sexual relationships, Bennett said.
Bennett, who worked as Cuomo’s executive assistant and as a health policy adviser, said she felt forced to answer the intimate questions because Cuomo was in a position of power.
“I thought, ‘He’s trying to sleep with me. The governor’s trying to sleep with me. And I’m deeply uncomfortable and I have to get out of this room as soon as possible,'”.
Cuomo denied the allegations at the time and said he was being playful. In his Tuesday statement, he addressed Bennett directly and apologized for having “brought my personal experience into the workplace.”
“Charlotte, I want you to know that I am truly and deeply sorry,” Cuomo said. “I brought my personal experience into the workplace, and I shouldn’t have done that. I was trying to help. Obviously I didn’t. I am even more sorry that I further complicated the situation. My goal was the exact opposite. I wish nothing but good for you and for all survivors of sexual assault.”
He is facing pressure from top Democrats, including President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to step down. Cuomo has said he won’t resign.
Watch more of Norah O’Donnell’s interview with Charlotte Bennett on the “CBS Evening News” at 6:30 p.m.