New York Times

Cuomo Aide Says Governor Groomed Her for Months Before Groping

The governor broke up with his longtime girlfriend, the celebrity chef Sandra Lee, in September 2019.

Some elements of the woman’s account comport with an on-the-record interview by Alyssa McGrath, who told The New York Times in March that she too had been sexually harassed by Mr. Cuomo. Ms. McGrath, 33, told The Times that a woman had told her about a groping incident and that she and the woman — whom she described as a friend — would frequently be called on to work with Mr. Cuomo at the mansion.

Ms. McGrath also told The Times she had been sent a text message of a photograph of the governor and the woman on New Year’s Eve 2019 — sitting close together, their faces side by side — an episode that The Times Union referenced on Wednesday. The governor asked the woman to send the photo to Ms. McGrath, Ms. McGrath has told The Times.

While the woman was taking the photo of herself and the governor, he rubbed her buttock, she told The Times Union. “That was the first blatant move,” she said.

Ms. McGrath told The Times that the governor had told the woman not to talk about the groping incident, an allegation also suggested by The Times Union report. According to the interview, the unidentified woman said that Mr. Cuomo had brought up the incident late last year after she took dictation at his Capitol office.

“Near the end of it, he looked up at me and he said, ‘You know, by the way, you know people talk in the office, and you can never tell anyone about anything we talk about or, you know, anything, right?’” the woman told The Times Union. “I said, ‘I understand.’ He said, ‘Well, you know, I could get in big trouble, you know that.’ I said, ‘I understand, governor.’ And he said, ‘OK.’”

On Wednesday, Mariann Wang, a lawyer for Ms. McGrath, said the Times Union report was “consistent with my client’s observations and experience working for the governor.”


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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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