“Questions have been raised about some of my past interactions with people in the office,” Cuomo said in a statement. “I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work, and colleagues are often also personal friends.”
He continued, “At work, sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good-natured way.”
The governor noted that he has “teased people about their personal lives” but he said, “I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”
“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” he added.
“To be clear, I never inappropriately touched anybody, and I never propositioned anybody, and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve an answer to.”
Read the statement below:
And now an apology from Cuomo himself, in the fourth statement of the day issued from his office pic.twitter.com/HbPbT6WQIY— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) February 28, 2021
Cuomo said he asked for an “outside, independent review,” to investigate the allegations against him.
Additionally, he said his office “has heard anecdotally that some people have reached out to Ms. Bennett to express displeasure about her coming forward.”
He added, “My message to anyone doing that is you have misjudged what matters to me and my administration, and you should stop now — period.”
Two former aides have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment ranging from unwanted touching to asking questions about their personal lives, which has led to calls for an independent investigation.
“There should be an independent review looking into these allegations,” she added.