CNN’s Chris Cuomo began Monday night’s episode of “Cuomo Prime Time” by addressing the sexual harassment accusations against his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, by saying he’s not going to address them.
“Let me say something that I’m sure is very obvious to you who watch my show,” Cuomo began. “And thank you for that. You’re straight with me, I’ll be straight with you. Obviously, I’m aware of what’s going on with my brother. And obviously, I cannot cover it because he is my brother.”
He continued, “Now, of course, CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so. I have always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so. I just wanted to tell you that. There’s a lot of news going on that matters also, so let’s get after that.”
Charlotte Bennett, a former executive assistant and health policy adviser for the Cuomo administration, came forward on Saturday to accuse the governor of asking her questions about her sex life, including whether she ever had sex with older men.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Bennett told the New York Times, which first reported on her allegations. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”
In a statement on Saturday, Andrew Cuomo denied making any advances toward Bennett and said he did not “intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” On Sunday, Cuomo released another statement to acknowledge that some of his comments have been “misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.”
Last week, Lindsey Boylan, a former special adviser to Cuomo, wrote in a blog post that the governor had kissed her without her consent, “went out of his way” to touch her lower back and made comments about her appearance.
On Monday evening, a third woman, Anna Ruch, said Cuomo had put his hands on her face and asked to kiss her at a wedding in 2019.
“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” Ruch, a former Obama administration and Biden campaign member, told the New York Times. “I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment.”