Fourth Woman Accuses Gov. Andrew Cuomo of Inappropriate Workplace Conduct
A fourth woman has come forward with new allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Ana Liss, a former aide to Cuomo, claimed in a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, published on Saturday, that the governor engaged in multiple instances of inappropriate verbal and physical conduct while she served as his policy and operations aide between 2013 and 2015.
Cuomo, 63, has publicly said he "never inappropriately touched anybody" but apologized last week for what he insisted was inadvertent behavior. An independent investigation is ongoing.
A spokesperson for Cuomo did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
In the interview, Liss, 35, said her desk was located near the governor's office and alleged that during her first year at the statehouse, Cuomo asked her if she had a boyfriend, called her "sweetheart," wrapped his arm around her lower back for a photo at a reception, and once kissed her hand when she rose from her desk.
Liss explained that while she initially perceived the governor's actions as harmless flirtations, over time she has come to view them as inappropriate. "It's not appropriate, really, in any setting," she said, later explaining that the experiences led her to increased drinking and prompted her to begin mental health counseling. While she never filed a formal complaint, she did ultimately ask for, and receive, a transfer to another office.
Liss is now the third former aide and fourth woman overall to accuse Cuomo of inappropriate workplace behavior.
Charlotte Bennett claimed in an interview published with The New York Times that Cuomo sexually harassed her last year while she was serving as an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the governor's administration.
Lindsay Boylan, who was an economic development adviser and stopped working for Cuomo in 2018, spoke out in December and subsequently detailed her allegations, which included an unwanted kiss, in a lengthy blog post last week.
And in an interview with The New York Times published last Monday, Anna Ruch alleged that after first meeting the politician at a wedding reception in 2019, Cuomo put his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her.
Last Wednesday, Cuomo denied having "inappropriately touched anybody" but apologized for causing unintended discomfort, as he described it. "I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable," he said.
The governor added: "It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and, frankly, I am embarrassed by it and that's not easy to say. But that's the truth."
Cuomo also said Wednesday he was not going to resign, despite the outcry and calls for him to do so from some state lawmakers. He reiterated that his administration will fully cooperate with the independent investigation of his behavior, which is being overseen by the state's attorney general.
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 rainn.org.