New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a direct apology to Charlotte Bennett, one of the complainants. The governor said he attempted to assist after she identified herself as a victim of sexual assault.
He said he brought his own experience to the workplace after dealing with a family relative who underwent a similar trauma, and “I thought I learned enough and had enough personal experience to help her, but I was wrong.”
“Charlotte, I want you to know that I am truly and deeply sorry, I brought my personal experience into the work place 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 said.
Earlier today, an attorney for Bennett called on Cuomo and his senior staff “who protected and enabled him” to “resign immediately” following the release of the New York attorney general’s report.
Bennett — a former executive assistant and health policy adviser — said she thought the governor was trying to sleep with her and she was deeply uncomfortable with questions he asked.
During his statement today, Cuomo countered her lawyers’ claims. “I have heard Charlotte and her lawyer and I understand what they are saying, but they read into comments I made and draw inferences that I never meant. They ascribe motives I never had, and simply put, they heard things that I just didn’t say.”
Earlier, he said her allegations “bothered me most.”
After Cuomo’s statement, Bennett tweeted this: