Third Woman Accuses Cuomo

As Chris Cuomo says he cannot cover his brother's scandal
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2021 12:01 AM CST
3rd Cuomo Accuser Comes Forward
In this Feb. 22, 2021 photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, right, pauses to listen to a reporter's question during a news conference at a COVID-19 vaccination site in the Brooklyn borough of New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool, file)

The accuser count now stands at three for Andrew Cuomo. Anna Ruch, 33, tells the New York Times that at a wedding in September 2019, the New York governor put his hand on her bare lower back just after meeting her for the first time. She removed it, and he responded by saying she seemed "aggressive," Ruch says, before putting his hands on her cheeks and asking if he could kiss her. A friend who was standing nearby heard the interaction and corroborated the event to the Times. Ruch says she pulled away as Cuomo came closer, and turned her head away. A rep for Cuomo, asked about the account, referred to Cuomo's Sunday night statement in which he said he has sometimes made "jokes" that "have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Charlotte Bennett, the second accuser, released a statement denouncing Cuomo's apology and calling on other women to come forward if they've had similar interactions.

Ruch, unlike the first two women to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior, never worked for the governor or the state of New York. All three are decades younger than Cuomo. The Times also viewed text messages and photographs from the event; Ruch's friend, who was concerned, took photos of Ruch's exchange with Cuomo, and told her friend Cuomo's lips made contact with her cheek as she turned away. Meanwhile, Cuomo's brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, addressed the controversy on his show Monday night, the AP reports. "Obviously, I'm aware of what's going on with my brother," he said. "Obviously, I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now, of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so." Calls for Cuomo's resignation are mounting, the AP reports, and New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched a probe. (This scandal is far from the only one plaguing Cuomo.)

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