NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo responded Tuesday after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo found he sexually harassed multiple women and violated state and federal laws.
In his response Cuomo continued to deny the allegations saying in part:
It has been a hard and a painful period for me and my family. Especially as others feed ugly stories to the press. But I cooperated with a review and I can now finally share the truth. My attorney, who is a non-political former federal prosecutor, has done a response to each allegation, and the facts are much different than what has been portrayed. That document is available on my website, if you are interested please take the time to read the facts and decide for yourself.
First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. 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.
The governor then addressed specific complaints and explained his account of what took place and apologized for his actions. You can find the response from Cuomo's attorney Rita Glavin here.
Cuomo continued on to say that "trial by newspaper or biased reviews are not the way to find the facts in this matter," and he said he welcomes the opportunity for a full and fair review before a judge and a jury "because this just did not happen."
I do kiss people on the forehead. I do kiss people on the cheek. I do kiss people on the hand. I do embrace people. I do hug people. Men and women. I do on occasion, say "ciao, bella." On occasion I do slip and say sweetheart or darling or honey. I do banter with people. I do tell jokes, some better than others. I am the same person in public as I am in private. You have seen me do it on TV through all my briefings and for 40 years before that. I try to put people at ease. I try to make them smile. I try to connect with them. And I try to show my appreciation and my friendship. I now understand that there are generational or cultural perspectives that frankly, I hadn't fully appreciated. And I have learned from this.
According to the governor he wants the state government to be a model of office behavior and he has brought in an expert to design a new sexual harassment policy and procedures to train the whole team.
"I accept responsibility. And we are making changes," said Cuomo.
Elected leaders across the state have responded to the findings of the investigation, many continuing to call for Cuomo's resignation.
You can watch Cuomo's full response below.
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace you can find resources here.