Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Former Executive Assistant Speaks Out About 'Nightmare' Groping Allegation

Brittany Commisso is one of 11 women who have accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct, which he has denied

Brittany Commisso and CUOMO
From left: Brittany Commisso and Andrew Cuomo. Photo: CBS THIS MORNING AND TIMES UNION; Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock

Brittany Commisso is speaking out for the first time about sexual misconduct allegations, claiming that Gov. Andrew Cuomo groped her more than once, which the politician has denied.

Last week, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that an independent investigation into harassment allegations against Cuomo, 63, found he "sexually harassed multiple women" and, in doing so, "violated federal and state law."

James explained during a press conference that the investigation determined that Cuomo engaged in "unwanted groping, kisses, hugging, and making inappropriate comments" with both current and former New York state employees. She added that the actions "created a hostile work environment for women," and said the governor and his senior staff took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee who came forward with her story.

One of the 11 women — previously known to the public as "Executive Assistant No. 1" in the investigation report — revealed herself as Commisso, 32, who detailed her allegations to CBS This Morning and Times Union.

Commisso, who began working in Cuomo's office in 2017 and filed a criminal complain against Cuomo last week, told the outlets that her "dream job" morphed into a "nightmare."

Commisso alleged that Cuomo first groped her on Dec. 31, 2019, while she was at the governor's mansion helping him with a speech. He asked to take a selfie with her, she claimed, and while she took the photo, "his hand go down my back onto my butt, and he started rubbing it."

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"I was embarrassed. Not only embarrassed for what was going on, I was embarrassed that a governor wanted a selfie and I couldn't take it. I was so nervous," she said, explaining that she began to shake in the moment. "I remember looking at them, and when he said, 'Can I see them?' I showed him them. And he said, 'Oh, those aren't — those aren't good.' "

Commisso added that in November 2020, Cuomo allegedly hugged her in a "sexually aggressive manner" and was, that night, behaving in what she described as "in a sexually aggressive state of mind."

When she rebuffed the hug, Commisso claims Cuomo "shut the door so hard" then "came back to me and that's when he put his hand up my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra."

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo. Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

"It happened so quick. He didn't say anything. When I stopped it, he just pulled away and walked away," she said, adding of his denial of the encounter: "I know the truth. He knows the truth. I know what happened and so does he. I don't believe that there were 10 staff there that day. I don't believe his family was there that day. And if that's what he has to say to make himself feel better, I really, I feel sorry for him."

The governor has previously denied having "inappropriately touched anybody" but has apologized for what he said was unintended discomfort. He said in March, "I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable."

According to the attorney general's office, Cuomo sat with interviewers and answered questions under oath, but offered "blanket denials" or said he had a "lack of recollection as to specific incidents."

Cuomo's office did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment but denied the allegations in a recorded message published last Tuesday. "I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances," Cuomo said in the video. "I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that's not who I have ever been."

Explaining why she decided to come forward now, Commisso said, "I hope that the other women understand and that I've seen them and I support them. And I thank them, because without them I don't know if I would have come forward."

"I was afraid that if I had come forward and revealed my name that the governor and his 'enablers,' I like to call them, would viciously attack me, would smear my name as I had seen and heard them do before to people," she claimed.

The Albany County Sheriff's Office is investigating the criminal complaint, according to NPR, as Sheriff Craig Apple said of the case, "This is obviously a very high-profile investigation. There is a lot of information out there. We have a lot of fact-finding to do. We have a lot of interviews to do. I'm not going to rush it because of who he is — and I'm not going to delay it because of who he is."

After news of the attorney general's report, President Joe Biden said last Tuesday that Cuomo "should resign."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to

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