Former aide says Andrew Cuomo is a 'textbook abuser' in first televised interview detailing her allegations

  • Charlotte Bennett, a 25-year-old former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, gave a TV interview on Friday.
  • Bennett appeared on CBS with Norah O’Donnell to elaborate on her allegations of sexual harassment.
  • She described new details about Cuomo’s behavior and his desire for “a girlfriend.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, gave her first televised interview since coming forward over the weekend to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment.

In the interview, Bennett, who was a senior briefer to the governor, gave more context and new details of how Cuomo was “grooming” her for a sexual relationship.

“Without explicitly saying it, he implied to me that I was old enough for him and he was lonely,” Bennett told the CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell in the interview, part of which aired on Friday morning.

“He is a textbook abuser,” she said at another point. “He lets his temper and his anger rule the office, but he was very sweet to me for a year in the hopes that maybe one day when he came on to me I would think we were friends, or that it was appropriate, or that it was OK.”

Bennett said that in a one-on-one encounter with Cuomo on June 5 he came the closest to explicitly propositioning her.

“When he said he was lonely, I mentioned that his daughters had been around,” said Bennett, who is close to the same age as Cuomo’s three daughters. “He also rejected that and said, ‘Yeah, I love my daughters, but I want a girlfriend.'”

Bennett wrote to a friend on the afternoon of June 5, “Something just happened and I can’t even type it out or put it in a video.”

Bennett said that the next day, a Saturday, she had another one-on-one meeting with the governor, ostensibly to help him fix an issue with his iPhone.

“I thought any moment something can happen, and I have no power here,” she said.

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, and it referred CBS to previous statements.

“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable, and I truly and deeply apologize for it,” Cuomo said on Wednesday. “And frankly, I am embarrassed by it. And that’s not easy to say, but that’s the truth.”

O’Donnell asked Bennett what she would say to those who doubt her story.

“It’s hard enough sharing this story when it’s true,” Bennett said. “I can’t imagine what it would be like to sit here and tell you lies. I don’t know who would do that. I couldn’t make this up.”

CBS is set to air the full interview on its evening news program at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Political pressure has been mounting on Cuomo. Several Democratic lawmakers have told Insider that they’re open to impeaching Cuomo if he won’t resign, which he has refused to do.

In addition to the three women who have recently accused Cuomo of sexual harassment, the Cuomo administration has been rocked by a scandal involving COVID-19 deaths in the state. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported this week that the governor’s aides had altered a report to lower the number of nursing-home COVID-19 deaths.

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