A photo released on Tuesday as part of the official report into sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo shows the New York governor groping an executive assistant on a couch. The photograph was taken right after he allegedly groped the executive assistant at his home while working.
The staffer, named only as "Executive Assistant #1," is one of the primary complainants in the report. She told investigators that Cuomo had asked her to take selfies as the two worked together inside his office at the Executive Mansion in Albany on December 31, 2019.
That selfie taken by the executive assistant has now become one of the major proofs that Cuomo is a repeated sexual harasser. The report mentions that as the woman held up the camera to take the selfie, Cuomo moved his hand to grab her butt cheek and began to rub it" for at least five seconds.
This made the woman nervous and she tried to move away from Cuomo. The executive assistant, who is in her 30s, said in the report that she "was shaking so much during this interaction" that the photos came out blurry. So, Cuomo suggested the two sit down to take one more photo.
The assistant who was already shaking didn't say anything and took another photo. The New York governor then asked her to send those photos to another aide, Alyssa McGrath, who has also spoken out about sexual harassment in the governor's office.
Cuomo also mentioned to the assistant "not to share the photograph with anyone else," the report mentions. The woman testified that she didn't know Cuomo's intentions behind asking her to send the photo McGrath. However, she believes that Cuomo "wanted to make [Ms. McGrath] jealous" or "wanted to see what her reaction was."
Cuomo in Trouble
The photo was included in the AG report that concluded on Tuesday that Cuomo over the years had sexually harassed several women in violation of state and federal law. The executive assistant told investigators that after taking the selfies she immediately deleted them because she was "embarrassed" and didn't want Cuomo "to see how nervous she was," the report states.
"And if Stephanie Benton or Melissa [DeRosa] heard that, I was going to lose my job," the unnamed aide added, referring to two of the governor's top aides.
During the investigation, Cuomo admitted that he took a photo with the woman but blamed it on her saying that it was the assistant's idea because he doesn't like taking selfies. However, that may not save Cuomo. The assistant also alleged that Cuomo groped her breast in the Executive Mansion on November 16, 2020.
The incident happened so fast that the woman didn't get a chance to run or move away. She was trying to leave the home and return to the Capitol, when the governor allegedly pulled her in for a close hug before closing the door and fondling her breasts.
"You're going to get us in trouble," the woman said she told Cuomo, who replied, "I don't care," according to the report. He then "slid his hand up her blouse, and grabbed her breast, 'cupp[ing her] breast' over her bra," the report alleges.
"I just remember looking down seeing his hand, seeing the top of my bra and I remember it was like a little even the cupâthe kind of bra that I had to the point I could tell you doesn't really fit me properly, it was a little loose, I just remember seeing exactly that."
Tuesday's report could be the final nail in the coffin for Cuomo. The report found him guilty of sexually harassing several women over the years but Cuomo continues to maintain that he has never touched any woman inappropriately. And despite calls for his resignation, Cuomo is in no mood to step down.