Story at a glance
- In an essay published on Medium, Lindsey Boylan reveals the yearslong, inappropriate behavior she allegedly endured while working with Gov. Cuomo.
- She says more women who have come forward inspired her to speak out.
A former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has come forward with refreshed allegations against the governor accusing him of sexual harassment.
Lindsay Boylan, who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment back in December 2020, published an essay on Wednesday that retold her encounter with the governor while aboard a private jet.
Boylan, who is now running for Manhattan borough president as a Democrat following a failed run for New York’s 10th Congressional District in June 2020, says one notable encounter occurred in October 2017, when Cuomo asked her to play a game of strip poker on the plane ride home from a political event.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,” she wrote. “His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.”
Boylan further retraces her first encounters with Cuomo, meeting initially in 2016 at Madison Square Garden when she served as chief of staff at New York State’s economic development agency.
People then informed Boylan that Cuomo developed a “crush” on her that intensified as he compared her to his ex-girlfriend and had his staff inquire about her. Eventually, this behavior reportedly escalated to touching her lower back, arms and legs.
“The Governor’s pervasive harassment extended beyond just me. He made unflattering comments about the weight of female colleagues,” she said. “He ridiculed them about their romantic relationships and significant others. He said the reasons that men get women were ‘money and power.’”
Her comments support others voiced by Cuomo’s colleagues, including New York Assemblyman Ron Kim (D), who recently said that Cuomo had bullied him regarding details of his administration’s handling of COVID-19 infections in nursing homes.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) also commented that “the bullying is nothing new.”
Eventually, Cuomo allegedly kissed Boylan following a meeting about economic projects.
Boylan goes on to say that another former Cuomo staffer said that she had been harassed while working for the governor, and rumors of his potential nomination for U.S. Attorney General prompted her to publicly disclose the encounter between her and Cuomo on Twitter.
She then says that a personnel file that was supposed to be confidential was leaked to the press, and people affiliated with Cuomo began investigating her background.
“I expect the Governor and his top aides will attempt to further disparage me, just as they’ve done with Assemblymember Kim,” Boylan said. “I am speaking up because I have the privilege to do so when many others do not. No one should have to be defined or destroyed by this kind of sexual harassment. Nor should they be revictimized if they decide to speak their own truth.”
Cuomo previously denied Boylan’s initial allegations, saying, “It's not true.”
"Look, I fought for and I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion, and express issues and concerns that she has, but it's just not true,” he said.