- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 4, 2021

One of the young women accusing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment said Thursday she felt the governor was “lonely,” and that his advances toward her made her extremely uncomfortable.

Charlotte Bennett, 25, a former executive assistant to Mr. Cuomo, told CBS News that she was alone with the 63-year-old governor when he asked if she slept with older men.

“I thought, he’s trying to sleep with me,” Ms. Bennett told anchor Norah O’Donnell. “The governor’s trying to sleep with me. And I’m deeply uncomfortable and I have to get out of this room as soon as possible.”

Ms. O’Donnell asked why she believed Mr. Cuomo wanted to have sex with her.

“Without explicitly saying it, he implied to me that I was old enough for him and he was lonely,” Ms. Bennett replied.

She has said she was so upset about the encounter that she reported it to Mr. Cuomo’s chief of staff. The governor’s office transferred Ms. Bennett to another job.

Ms. Bennett told CBS she was taking dictation for Mr. Cuomo last June 5 when he asked her to turn off the tape recorder.

“And then he explains at that point that he is looking for a girlfriend. He is lonely, is tired,” Ms. Bennett said. “The governor asked me if I was sensitive to intimacy in his office … during the workday.”

She said she watched Mr. Cuomo’s attempt at an apology on Wednesday on TV.

“It’s not an apology,” she said. “It’s not an issue of my feelings. It’s an issue of his actions. The fact is that he was sexually harassing me, and he has not apologized for sexually harassing me, and he can’t even use my name.”

At a news conference on Wednesday, Mr. Cuomo suggested that he was never told about Ms. Bennett’s complaint.

“I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable,” the governor said. “I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone, or hurt anyone, or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do.”

Mr. Cuomo is refusing to resign over the harassment allegations by Ms. Bennett, former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan and Anna Ruch, who met the governor at a wedding reception. He said he will comply fully with an independent investigation overseen by state Attorney General Letitia James.

Elected officials in both parties have urged Mr. Cuomo to step down.

The governor insisted this week that he never touched anyone inappropriately. He said he now understands that some of his comments were misconstrued, and he never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

Mr. Cuomo has been divorced from ex-wife Kerry Kennedy since 2003.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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