(Headline USA) In a jaw-dropping interview with activist/journalist Ronan Farrow, Lindsey Boylan—the first victim to come forward with allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo—says the Democrat leader wanted to “mount” her like a dog.
Farrow relayed the story in a recently published piece by the New Yorker:
“At a press conference that February, Cuomo had proudly showed off his new puppy, a Siberian-Shepherd-Malamute mix named Captain,” he wrote.
Afterward, as Boylan was making her way toward the exit alongside Cuomo, the Captain became a little overstimulated by her presence.
“When the dog jumped up and down near her, Boylan said, she reached out to calm him, and then backed away,” Farrow wrote. “Cuomo, she said, joked that if he were a dog, he would try to ‘mount’ her as well.”
At the time, Boylan said she held her tongue so as not to jeopardize her relationship with her boss.
“I remember being grossed out but also, like, what a dumb third-grade thing to say,” she said. “I just shrugged it off.”
The new details came as an eight accuser emerged on Friday—this time a woman who currently works in the governor’s office.
Alyssa McGrath told the New York Times that Cuomo looked down her shirt and made suggestive remarks to her and another aide.
According to the report, Cuomo also called her beautiful in Italian, referred to her and her female colleague as “mingle mamas,” asked why she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring and inquired about her divorce.
“He has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you’re his friend,” Ms. McGrath told the newspaper. “But then you walk away from the encounter or conversation, in your head going, ‘I can’t believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York.’”
McGrath is the first current aide to come forward publicly to join mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against Cuomo.
His behavior with women is the subject of an investigation overseen by the state’s attorney general and a separate impeachment investigation by the New York Assembly, the state’s lower legislative chamber.
McGrath said her female colleague was the same woman the governor is accused of groping in the Executive Mansion, an allegation that was revealed in a report last week in the Times Union of Albany.
That aide hasn’t been identified publicly. McGrath said the woman spoke with her in detail about what happened to her after the Times Union report was published.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct. A lawyer for him told the Times that Cuomo has indeed used Italian phrases like “ciao bella,” which means “hello beautiful” in Italian, and greeted both men and women alike with hugs and a kiss.
“None of this is remarkable, although it may be old-fashioned,” lawyer Rita Glavin said. “He has made clear that he has never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone.”
McGrath did not accuse the governor of inappropriate touching, but described a time when she was sitting alone with Cuomo for a dictation session when she caught him gazing at her.
“I put my head down waiting for him to start speaking, and he didn’t start speaking,” she told the Times. “So I looked up to see what was going on. And he was blatantly looking down my shirt.”
She said Cuomo then asked “What’s on your necklace?”
Assembly Democratic Speaker Carl Heastie on Friday said the body’s impeachment investigation will examine “all credible allegations” against the governor, including whether he used his office to sexually harass or assault employees.
Other subjects under investigation, Heastie said, will include whether Cuomo withheld information on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes from the public, and his administration’s handling of safety concerns at a newly constructed bridge over the Hudson River.
“Your charge is to determine whether evidence exists to support a finding that the governor has engaged in conduct, as governor, that violates the laws of the State of New York and whether such violations constitute serious and corrupt conduct in office that may justify articles of impeachment,” Heastie wrote in a Friday letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Lavine.
Other aspects of the probe, including how long it will take and how public its proceedings or findings will be, are still being determined.
The Assembly earlier this week hired the Manhattan law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell to assist with the investigation.
The pace of the inquiry has frustrated some lawmakers who want Cuomo out now.
“It’s pretty strange to me and I think that we are needing to ask a lot of questions here,” Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, a Democrat. “With any kind of lack of transparency or lack of access to any process, one has to ask about the motivations and one has to ask: Why?”
An attorney for one of Cuomo’s accusers, Charlotte Bennett, has said she won’t cooperate with the Assembly’s inquiry because of questions about potential political interference.
Bennett and several other women who have accused Cuomo of harassment have already been interviewed by attorneys working for Attorney General Letitia James.
Federal prosecutors are also scrutinizing whether Cuomo’s administration misled the public or the U.S. Justice Department about COVID-19 fatalities at nursing homes.