An eighth woman has come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against New York governor Andrew Cuomo, in an interview with the New York Times published on Friday.
Alyssa McGrath, an executive assistant in the governor’s office, said that Cuomo repeatedly made suggestive remarks about her looks and body, and in one instance “blatantly” stared down her shirt. McGrath also said she spoke with an unidentified woman, also a current aide, after that woman alleged Cuomo groped her underneath her blouse, in allegations reported by the Times Union.
“She froze when he started doing that stuff to her,” McGrath told the Times. McGrath added that Cuomo told the woman “specifically not to tell me,” because he knew the two are coworkers who frequently discussed Cuomo’s behavior.
The governor is currently facing dual scandals of alleged sexual harassment and investigations into his administration’s handling of coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes. In a press conference on March 12, Cuomo refused to resign, implying that calls for him to step down were similar to “cancel culture,” and adding that “as a former attorney general who has gone through this situation many times, there are often many motivations for making an allegation.”
Cuomo would regularly call McGrath and the other aide to work on weekends at the Executive Mansion, and McGrath said it was known that the governor had favorites among his female staff. In one instance, McGrath was summoned to Cuomo’s office for a dictation session.
“I put my head down waiting for him to start speaking, and he didn’t start speaking . . . so I looked up to see what was going on. And he was blatantly looking down my shirt,” McGrath said. The governor then realized she had noticed, and “made a reference, a subtle reference, saying, ‘What’s on your necklace?’ Which was in my shirt.”
McGrath said she decided to come forward after watching Cuomo’s March 3 press conference in which he denied touching any woman inappropriately. (Cuomo allegedly kissed McGrath on the forehead at a Christmas party in 2019.) McGrath added that she has continued to speak with her unidentified coworker, after the latter recounted the alleged groping incident.
“Her and I discussed this after the fact and now we’re like, ‘How did we not see this?’” McGrath said. “Because it’s so blatant and obvious.”
The allegation by McGrath’s coworker has been referred to Albany police for an investigation. McGrath’s allegations were published one day after The New Yorker reported that Cuomo aides leaked the personnel files of the governor’s first accuser, former aide Lindsey Boylan, in an effort to discredit her.
Boylan first accused the governor of sexual harassment in December 2020, and published her allegations in detail in February, saying that in one incident the governor kissed her on the lips without consent. Since then, seven additional women have accused the governor of sexual harassment.