One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s accusers believes he “groomed her” for sex — and her lawyer says he “derailed” the young woman’s career, according to reports Thursday.
Charlotte Bennett, 25, spoke to the “CBS Evening News” for an interview set to air Thursday night and anchor Norah O’Donnell previewed her remarks in a video clip posted on Twitter.
Bennett, a former Cuomo aide, detailed the “shocking questions” that Cuomo, 63, allegedly “asked her about her sex life,” including whether “she had sex with older men,” O’Donnell said.
Cuomo also allegedly “told her he was lonely.”
“She talks about how she believes that Gov. Cuomo groomed her,” O’Donnell said.
Meanwhile, Bennett’s lawyer, Debra Katz, told CBS News that the alleged sexual harassment “derailed her career.”
Bennett left the Cuomo administration in November and now works as director of operations for Primary Maternity Care, a start-up company founded by a midwife-turned-entrepreneur with an MBA from the Yale School of Management, according to her resume on the LinkedIn website.
Her state salary was $55,000 a year during fiscal 2019, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy’s “SeeThroughNY” website.
In a report published Saturday, Bennett told the New York Times that she was working as an executive assistant to Cuomo when he sexually harassed her while they were alone in his Albany office on June 5.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” she said.
Bennett said she complained to Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, within a week and was soon given a new job as a health policy director and an office on the other side of the Capitol building from Cuomo’s office.
Asked for comment about Bennett’s CBS interview, a Cuomo spokesman referred back to a statement issued on Saturday by Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior adviser to the governor.
“Ms. Bennett’s concerns were treated with sensitivity and respect and in accordance with applicable law and policy,” Garvey said at the time. “She was consulted regarding the resolution, and expressed satisfaction and appreciation for the way in which it was handled.”
During a Wednesday news conference, Cuomo offered what appeared to be a personal message of regret to Bennett, identifying her as “the young woman who worked here, who said that I made her feel uncomfortable in the workplace.”
Another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, 36, has also accused Cuomo of sexual harassment and a third woman, Anna Ruch, 33, has said he grabbed her face and kissed her after officiating at a Manhattan wedding in 2019.
Cuomo also said he felt “awful” and “embarrassed” over the allegations against him but defended his actions as “unintentional” and insisted, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.”
He also vowed to ignore bipartisan demands that he resign and urged New Yorkers to withhold judgment pending an investigation by state Attorney General Letitia James.