New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Accused of Sexual Harassment by Former Aide
"I am not the only woman," claimed Lindsey Boylan, who worked for Andrew Cuomo's administration from March 2015 to October 2018
A former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo accused him of sexual harassment in a series of tweets on Sunday, which he office denies.
Lindsey Boylan, who worked for the Cuomo administration from March 2015 to October 2018 according to the Associated Press, claimed that the governor would often make inappropriate comments about her physical appearance while she worked for him.
"Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched. I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years," Boylan alleged in a tweet.
"Not knowing what to expect what’s [sic] the most upsetting part aside from knowing that no one would do a damn thing even when they saw it. No one. And I *know* I am not the only woman," continued Boylan, who served as executive vice president of Empire State Development and then as a special adviser to Cuomo for economic development.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Cuomo's press secretary, Caitlin Girouard, said: "There is simply no truth to these claims."
Cuomo himself echoed that on Monday, telling reporters: “I fought for and I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has. But it’s just not true.”
Boylan did not go into detail about the alleged harassment, later tweeting that she has "no interest in talking to journalists" about the matter.
"I am about validating the experience of countless women and making sure abuse stops," she said. "My worst fear is that this continues. And as @FKAtwigs said yesterday, my second worst fear is having to talk about and relive this." (The singer recently launched a lawsuit against ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf, alleging he physically and emotionally abused her.)
The New York Times reported that Boylan — who is currently running a campaign for Manhattan borough president after she failed to unseat Rep. Jerrold Nadler for New York's 10th Congressional District in November — previously described her experience working for Cuomo as "beyond toxic."
"If people weren’t deathly afraid of him, they’d be saying the same thing and you’d already know the stories," she claimed in a series of tweets earlier this month. "Seriously, the messages and texts I receive when I speak the truth about this...it’s a whole book of people who have been harmed."
Boylan also alleged that "working for him is endlessly dispiriting," and that she is still "unwrapping it years later in therapy." She later said she "tried to quit three times" before finally leaving her position.
The AP obtained personnel memos written in 2018 that indicate Boylan resigned from her position in the Cuomo administration after she was confronted about complaints from staff about her own behavior.
According to the documents obtained by the AP, the administration’s ethics officer, Julia Pinover Kupiec, wrote that several women issued complaints to the Empire State Development’s human resources department stating that "Ms. Boyland had behaved in a way towards them that was harassing, belittling, and had yelled and been generally unprofessional."
The documents also allege Boylan resigned after meeting with Cuomo’s top lawyer, Alphonso David, about the issue.
After Boylan's allegations about Cuomo, New York Rep. Elise Stefanik — a Republican who has criticized Cuomo previously — said she supported "an independent investigation into the serious allegations of pervasive workplace sexual harassment and verbal abuse by Governor Andrew Cuomo."
"The people of New York deserve a Governor who lives up to his own public statements on sexual harassment," Stefanik said.
She did not provide further details about what kind of investigation she supported or by whom; her office did not respond to a request for comment.
• With reporting by ADAM CARLSON and SEAN NEUMANN