/Strike Three: Gov. Cuomo Faces Another Sexual Harassment Allegation
Strike Three: Gov. Cuomo Faces Another Sexual Harassment Allegation

Strike Three: Gov. Cuomo Faces Another Sexual Harassment Allegation

Strike Three: Gov. Cuomo Faces Another Sexual Harassment Allegation
A third woman came forward on Monday to accuse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of inappropriate sexual behavior, saying he grabbed and kissed her at a 2019 wedding.
Anna Ruch, 33, told the New York Times that the 63-year-old governor made unwanted advances toward her and planted an unsolicited kiss on her cheek at the reception in Manhattan.

“He said, ‘Can I kiss you?’” Ruch recalled. “I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed.”
The allegation comes after two former state staffers accused Cuomo of sexual harassment on the job — including one who claimed the governor kissed her without warning at his Manhattan office, which he has denied.
Unlike the other two women, Ruch has never been employed by the governor or the state, according to the Times.
Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, said she met Cuomo at the crowded wedding reception in September 2019.
Within moments of being introduced, Ruch claims, the gov put his hand on the small of her lower back, which was exposed in an open-back dress.
“I promptly removed his hand with my hand, which I would have thought was a clear enough indicator that I was not wanting him to touch me,” she told the Times.
But the governor apparently didn’t get the hint.
He allegedly noted that Ruch seemed “aggressive” — and then placed his hands on her cheeks and asked if he could kiss her, loudly enough for a friend of Ruch’s to hear, according to the report.
“I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment,” Ruch said.
Ruch said she was so shocked, she had to ask a friend whether the gov’s lips had actually touched her face as she was pulling away. She was told that he kissed her cheek.
The pal captured the creepy encounter in a series of photographs, including one Ruch also provided to The Post that shows Cuomo grasping her face.
“It’s the act of impunity that strikes me,” Ruch said. “I didn’t have a choice in that matter. I didn’t have a choice in his physical dominance over me at that moment. And that’s what infuriates me.”
After the encounter, Ruch said, her friend “looked at me and said, ‘Are you OK?’ with such genuine concern in her face that I realized how obviously inappropriate it was.”
Later, she tried to find the governor at the reception to give him a piece of her mind but couldn’t track him down.
“I would have rather just said it that night,” Ruch said. “I wanted to say, ‘That wasn’t OK.’”
She added: “I felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed when really he is the one who should have been embarrassed.”
Reached by The Post on Monday night, Ruch said the photo of Cuomo clutching her face speaks for itself.
“The photo pretty much sums it up. Gross. What the f–k?,” she said, adding: “Every woman has to go through this in the 21st century.”
The bride from the 2019 nuptials, which the governor officiated at Manhattan restaurant Toro, also applauded Ruch for coming forward.
“This pattern of behavior is completely unacceptable,” Alexa Kissinger, a fellow Obama White House staffer, wrote on Instagram along with the photo of the gov and Ruch.
“I am so proud of @annaruch for sharing her story,” she added.
Her husband, Gareth Rhodes, is a current Cuomo staffer, according to his LinkedIn account.
Other instances of Cuomo’s past creepy behavior have resurfaced on social media amid the sexual harassment allegations — including how he once asked a female journalist to “eat the whole sausage” in front of him at the 2016 New York State Fair.
The governor’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment from The Post. Instead of directly addressing Ruch’s account, a Cuomo spokesman referred the Times to a statement the gov released Sunday night, in which he apologized if his “jokes” were misinterpreted as “unwanted flirtation.”
“To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” the statement said.
His two other accusers, Charlotte Bennett and Lindsey Boylan, expressed their support for Ruch soon after her allegations were made public.
“I stand with Anna Ruch,” former gubernatorial aide Bennett, 25, wrote on Twitter.
Original Source