Andrew Cuomo Addresses His Three Daughters in Resignation: 'Your Dad Made Mistakes'

Cuomo's speech came on the heels of a bombshell report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, which concluded that the governor "sexually harassed multiple women"

In a speech announcing his resignation as governor of New York on Tuesday, Andrew Cuomo acknowledged that his daughters may have played a role in his decision, saying he had "made mistakes" for which he apologized, but stopping short of admitting to a long list of allegations of sexual harassment made by current and former employees.

"In many ways, I see the world through the eyes of my daughters: Cara, Mariah, and Michaela," 63-year-old Cuomo said, adding, "I have lived this experience with and through them."

Cuomo's speech comes on the heels of a bombshell report by New York Attorney General Letitia James, which concluded that the governor "sexually harassed multiple women" and, in doing so, "violated federal and state law."

In a press conference earlier this month, James explained that her 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."

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo. AP/Shutterstock

On Tuesday, Cuomo explained how the controversy had impacted his daughters, saying, "I have seen the look in their eyes, and the expression on their faces, and it hurt."

He then offered a message to his daughters, though it was one some critics on social media suggested was hypocritical, given the allegations against him.

"I want my three jewels to know this: My greatest goal is for them to have a better future than the generations of women before them," he said. "It is still in many ways a man's world. It always has been. We have sexism that is culturalized and institutionalized. "

Saying his daughters have "more talent and natural gifts" than he ever did, Cuomo then offered another denial of the sexual harassment claims against him.

"I want them to know, from the bottom of my heart, that I never did, and I never would, intentionally disrespect a woman, or treat any woman differently than I would want them treated, and that is the God's honest truth," Cuomo said.

He continued: "Your dad made mistakes, and he apologized, and he learned from it, and that's what life is all about."

While Cuomo has repeatedly denied that he sexually harassed anyone, the state attorney general's office found 11 women who reported allegations against him — including unwanted kisses and groping — to be credible.

In an interview with PEOPLE last year, Cuomo spoke about life in quarantine with his daughters, which he called a "silver lining" of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"They just activate a different piece of my mind," he said of his daughters, who he shares with ex-wife Kerry Kennedy. "When you're doing the same thing 20 hours a day, the diversion is helpful."

Elsewhere in the conversation, Cuomo spoke about his heavily criticized response to the pandemic — and politics in general — saying, "Government is an art form. I've studied it all my life."

Cuomo's resignation will be effective in 14 days.

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