Cuomo accuser files lawsuit against New York state, alleging responsibility for sexual harassment
A former aide who accused former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment in a federal lawsuit has filed another lawsuit against the Empire State.
Charlotte Bennett, a former New York state employee and the second woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment, filed the complaint in a state court on Wednesday, alleging the state government is accountable for Cuomo’s sexual harassment and for the actions of other aides who did not take action on the matter once it was reported.
While Cuomo and the aides are not listed as defendants in the suit, Bennett targets the state with claims of sexual harassment and retaliation.
Last September, Bennett filed a lawsuit against Cuomo and members of his executive staff, including former chief of staff Jill DesRosiers; former secretary Melissa DeRosa; and special counsel Judith Mogul, saying she was retaliated against after complaining about Cuomo’s alleged misconduct.
CUOMO ACCUSER CHARLOTTE BENNETT CALLS FOR CNN TO FIRE CHRIS CUOMO: ANYTHING LESS LACKS ‘MORALS AND A BACKBONE’
In the September suit, Bennett said Cuomo “subjected her to sexualized comments about her appearance” and “assigned her humiliating and demeaning tasks.” She also said Cuomo “subjected her to invasive and unwanted questions about her personal life, romantic and sexual relationships, and history as a survivor of sexual assault.”
The former aide also alleged in the lawsuit that Cuomo said he was “lonely” in a comment to her and wanted a girlfriend who lived in Albany, allegedly adding that he would be willing to date someone over the age of 21. Bennett was 25 at the time of the alleged remark.
Bennett also alleges Cuomo made “sexual advances” toward her, and cited a June 25, 2020, incident. She said in the lawsuit that while Cuomo was discussing a proposal on police reform, he said that the way Bennett’s mask moved in and out when she breathes reminded him of the monsters in the movie “Predator.”
EX-AIDE TO ANDREW CUOMO SUES, ALLEGES FORMER GOV AND TOP AIDES CREATED ‘SEXUALLY HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT’
Cuomo has denied the allegations, with a spokesperson for the former governor, Rita Glavin, telling Fox News Digital last year that Cuomo has always said that he “didn’t harass anyone.”
“The Governor has always said he didn’t harass anyone and with each day that goes by more and more information is uncovered showing how evidence favorable to the Governor was suppressed and crucial facts ignored or omitted that undermined witness credibility. What else will come out during the discovery process? We’ll see them in court,” Glavin said at the time.
Bennett alleged in the September 2022 lawsuit that DesRosiers, Mogul and DeRosa all “aided and abetted” the sexual harassment, and said that Cuomo subjected her to a “sexually hostile work environment.”
When Bennett reported Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment to DesRosiers, the lawsuit alleges that she was transferred to an “inferior position” on the Executive Chamber’s health policy team.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The New York attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News when asked about Bennett’s lawsuit against the state.
New York AG Letitia James’ office conducted a months-long investigation into Cuomo, concluding with an August 2021 report that said he sexually harassed at least 11 women from 2013 to 2020. Cuomo stepped down from office shortly after the report was made public to avoid what many saw as his likely impeachment.
Cuomo filed an ethics complaint against James last year, alleging she violated conduct rules and had an “intolerable personal and political conflict of interest” when she selected two investigators as part of the probe.
Fox News’ Adam Sabes and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this article.