Cuomo apologizes in wake of harassment allegations, says will not resign

"I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it," Cuomo said.

NEW YORK Governor Andrew M. Cuomo holds his daily COVID-19 press briefing at the New York Stock Exchange, May 26, 2020 (photo credit: DARREN MCGEE/OFFICE OF GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO/TNS)
NEW YORK Governor Andrew M. Cuomo holds his daily COVID-19 press briefing at the New York Stock Exchange, May 26, 2020
(photo credit: DARREN MCGEE/OFFICE OF GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO/TNS)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday apologized again after accusations emerged that he sexually harassed young women.
"I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it," Cuomo told a news conference. "I feel awful about it and frankly I am embarrassed by it," said the governor who has been marred in recent weeks by a flurry of accusations, including that his administration sought to downplay the true number of elderly nursing home residents killed by COVID-19.
Cuomo said his behavior was unintentional and maintained that he never touched anyone inappropriately but acknowledged that it is "custom" for him to kiss and hug people in greeting.
"I understand that sensitivities have changed and behavior has changed and I get it, and I'm going to learn from it.
The New York Governor said that he will fully cooperate with the NY Attorney General's review into sexual harassment allegations against him.
INVESTIGATION TO BEGIN
The second woman to detail her experience is Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser who told the New York Times in February that Cuomo peppered her with questions about her romantic life last year in what she viewed as an effort to have sex with her.
A third woman has also come forward, telling the New York Times the governor made unwanted advances and physical contact after meeting her at a wedding in 2019.
In response to Bennett, Cuomo released a statement on Sunday saying he sometimes playfully teased colleagues and was sorry if he made anyone uncomfortable, and his office granted the referral required by state law for New York Attorney General Letitia James to investigate the complaints.
Debra Katz, the attorney who represented Christine Blasey Ford when she alleged that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, is now representing Bennett. In a statement on Wednesday, Katz said Cuomo's apology was "full of falsehoods."
Reuters could not immediately reach representatives for the other two women.
"I apologized several days ago. I apologize today, I will apologize tomorrow, I will apologize the day after," Cuomo said on Wednesday as he pleaded with the public "get the facts" before forming an opinion.
The complaints about sexual misconduct emerged after questions mounted over Cuomo's handling of the coronavirus pandemic last year as it torn through nursing homes. New York state politicians, many of them fellow Democrats, have said that Cuomo tried to silence his critics and routinely governed through intimidation.
In January, James' office issued a report that said the state health department significantly undercounted the death toll in nursing homes and implemented policies that may have contributed to the death toll.