New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation on Tuesday, ending speculations following the state attorney general's report that accused him of sexual harassment.
'The Best Way I Can Help Now Is If I Step Aside and Let Government Get Back to Governing'
The three-term governor's shocking announcement in a livestream from his Manhattan office came minutes after his lawyer again denied claims that he had sexually harassed anyone during his three terms in office.
In a televised address, the 63-year-old Democrat denied intentionally showing any disrespect toward women but said that fighting back against what he called the "politically motivated" attack on him would subject the state to months of turmoil, and "I cannot be the cause of that."
"The best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing," Cuomo said.
Cuomo Will Leave Office in 2 Weeks
Cuomo, a Democrat, said his resignation would take effect in 14 days, ending a decade-long run in the office. Cuomo was earlier an adviser to his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo, before winning three terms himself.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul Will Make History As the 1st Woman to Serve as New York Governor
Cuomo's announcement came just days after the resignation of Melissa DeRosa, and the filing of a criminal complaint against him by a former executive assistant Brittany Commisso.
There was increasing pressure on Cuomo to resign with President Joe Biden, the two Democratic senators from New York, and multiple state lawmakers calling on him to step down.
Lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul, 62, will take his place, becoming the first woman to lead New York State. Hochul has reportedly prepared for a potential takeover.
Attorney General Letitia James' bombshell Report Compelled Cuomo to Resign
Attorney General Letitia James' bombshell report, released on Tuesday, had revealed that Cuomo sexually harassed eleven women, including current and former state employees also. The investigation detailed in a 168-page report, found that Cuomo groped, kissed or made suggestive comments to women.
The report also highlighted that Cuomo's staff reportedly sought the help of Time's Up Legal Defence Fund founder Roberta Kaplan and Time's Up CEO Tina Tchen in drafting a letter that smeared one of his accusers and impugned her credibility. Her name is Lindsey Boylan and she had been the first to publicly come out publicly with allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed her.