Karen Hinton, a press aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) over 20 years ago, claims that the governor was “aroused” when he once allegedly hugged her.
“He approached me, embraced too tightly, too long, and was aroused,” Hinton alleged during an interview with WNYC radio, the New York Post reports. “I felt extremely uncomfortable and actually shocked. Nothing had ever happened that way between the two of us.”
Hinton alleges that Cuomo gave her a pair of hugs inside her Los Angeles hotel room in 2000. The governor was serving as the Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary (HUD) during the alleged incident. Hinton is said to have worked at HUD between 1995 and 1999.
Cuomo has denied Hinton’s allegations, saying on March 7: “What she said is not true.”
“As everybody who has been involved on any level in New York politics knows, she has been a longtime political adversary of mine, highly critical for many, many years and has made many, many accusations,” the governor added, noting Hinton previously worked as a press secretary for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).
Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment and unwanted touching by at least seven women and the governor has denied any wrongdoing in all cases along with refusing to resign despite calls by top New York Democrats. New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) recently opened an independent investigation of the allegations levelled against Cuomo, while the New York State Assembly is gearing up to launch an impeachment probe.
One of Cuomo’s sexual harassment accusers met with investigators working for the state attorney general’s office for more than four hours Monday via Zoom, according to her lawyer.
During the interview, Charlotte Bennett revealed new details about Cuomo’s behavior and what she said was a “sexually hostile work environment,” including a claim the governor frequently made suggestive remarks about the size of his hands.
“One piece of new information that came to light today was the Governor’s preoccupation with his hand size and what the large size of his hands indicated to Charlotte and other members of his staff,” her lawyer, Debra Katz, said in a statement.
Bennett also provided investigators with 120 pages of records from the time of the alleged harassment and other documentary evidence to corroborate her accusations, Katz said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.