Charlotte Bennett, who served as an govt assistant to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, filed a lawsuit in opposition to the 64-year-old in federal court docket Wednesday in search of damages for sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation.
Bennett, 27, was among the first of greater than a dozen girls to accuse Cuomo of undesirable sexual advances or contact, telling The New York Occasions in February 2021 that her boss requested her intrusive questions on her intercourse life, requested if she was serious about older males and implied he wished a sexual relationship together with her.
In her lawsuit Wednesday, Bennett goes into extra element about working beneath Cuomo, claiming he “subjected her to sexualized feedback about her look” and “assigned her humiliating and demeaning duties,” resembling making her sing songs for him on command and do as many pushups as she might in entrance of him and different staff.
The lawsuit additionally states that Cuomo allegedly pressed Bennett to touch upon the dimensions of his palms, making her extraordinarily uncomfortable due to the “frequent affiliation between the dimensions of a person’s hand and the dimensions of his penis.”
In one other occasion, she claimed, Cuomo pressured her to share the main points of a sexual assault she skilled in faculty, then instructed her: “Effectively, some folks have it a lot worse.”
Following her talking out, Cuomo and his prime aides publicly smeared her, Bennett stated in a press release Wednesday.
“My profession as a public servant was abruptly lower quick due to Governor Cuomo’s and his prime aides’ sexual harassment and retaliation in opposition to me after I complained about Governor Cuomo’s misconduct,” she stated. “They need to all be held accountable for his or her actions.”
Bennett’s lawsuit additionally names three Cuomo staffers as defendants, accusing them of mishandling sexual harassment complaints she made whereas working for Cuomo.
An in depth report by the state legal professional common launched in August 2021 corroborated Bennett’s and others’ claims, however Cuomo, who was pressured to resign shortly thereafter, continues to disclaim any wrongdoing. He’s claimed his accusers misinterpreted his harmless actions as sexually charged.
Lindsey Boylan, one other former aide to Cuomo and the primary to talk out with allegations in opposition to him in late 2020, prolonged her help to Bennett in a tweet Wednesday.
“I couldn’t be extra happy with Charlotte Bennett,” she wrote. “I couldn’t really feel extra love for somebody I didn’t know two years in the past. She is courageous and she or he is a warrior. And she or he has my full help.”
Bennett’s lawsuit comes a day after Cuomo filed an ethics complaint in opposition to New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James over her workplace’s report on his actions, saying she “cynically manipulated a authorized course of for private, political acquire.”