- A current aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has gone on record with her name in the latest accusation of sexual harassment against the besieged Democrat.
- The aide, Alyssa McGrath, told The New York Times that Cuomo had looked down her shirt, commented on her appearance and otherwise engaged in flirtatious comments.
- McGrath joins more than a half dozen other women, including another current aide and several past Cuomo aides, in accusing him of sexual harassment, or of making inappropriate physical contact and comments.
The aide, 33-year-old Alyssa McGrath, told The New York Times that Cuomo had once looked down her shirt, commented on her appearance by calling her "beautiful" in Italian and otherwise engaged in flirtatious behavior.
McGrath joins more than a half dozen other women, including another current aide and several past Cuomo aides, in accusing the 63-year-old governor of sexual harassment, or of making inappropriate physical contact and comments.
"I have no doubt in my mind that all of these accusers are telling the truth," McGrath told The Times.
She said Cuomo "has a way of making you feel very comfortable around him, almost like you're his friend."
"But then you walk away from the encounter or conversation, in your head going, 'I can't believe I just had that interaction with the governor of New York,' " McGrath said.
The other current aide making accusations against Cuomo, who has not been publicly identified, reportedly told supervisors that he aggressively groped her breast in the governor's mansion after summoning her on the pretext of helping him with his mobile phone.
McGrath told The Times that that other woman described the incident to her last week after it was first detailed by The Times Union of Albany.
"She froze when he started doing that stuff to her," McGrath told The New York Times. "But who are you going to tell?"
McGrath also said that the co-worker told her Cuomo asked her not to talk about the incident, having known that she and McGrath routinely spoke and texted each other about interactions with him.
"He told her specifically not to tell me, McGrath said.
Last week, Albany police were notified about the allegation made by the other aide.
McGrath told The Times that after former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett went public with her claims of sexual harassment against the governor, she was angered while watching Cuomo state at a March 3 news conference that he never "touched anyone inappropriately."
"It makes me really upset to hear him speak about this and completely deny all allegations," she said, noting that she believes Bennett and the other accusers, who include another former aide, Lindsey Boylan.
While Cuomo has denied acting inappropriately toward any women, he has apologized for making comments that he says he now understands made some people feel uncomfortable.
He also refused to resign despite calls for him to do so from a majority of Democrats in New York's congressional delegation and scores of Democrats in the state legislature.
U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said earlier Friday about Cuomo: "There's been [a] lot of allegations of misconduct, sexual harassment."
"The governor has lost the confidence of his governing partners and many New Yorkers. He should step down," Schumer said.
A team of lawyers working under the supervision of state Attorney General Letitia James is investigating allegations against Cuomo made by various women.
Another legal team — hired by the state Assembly for an impeachment inquiry — is investigating the women's claims, as well as the cover-up of Covid death data on nursing home residents by Cuomo aides.
Cuomo's office referred questions about McGrath's claims to Rita Glavin, a lawyer for the governor.
Glavin, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, told The Times that "the governor has greeted men and women with hugs and a kiss on the cheek, forehead, or hand."
"Yes, he has posed for photographs with his arm around them. Yes, he uses Italian phrases like 'ciao bella,' " Glavin said.
"Ciao bella" is Italian for, "Hello, beautiful."
"None of this is remarkable, although it may be old-fashioned. He has made clear that he has never made inappropriate advances or inappropriately touched anyone," Glavin said.
McGrath's lawyer, Mariann Wang, fired back in a statement to CNBC.
"The governor's deflections are not credible. This was not just friendly banter," Wang said.
"Ms. McGrath understands the common phrase 'ciao Bella.' As she herself says: 'I would not call my parents to find out what that phrase means. I know what that phrase means.' "
Boylan used Glavin's words against Cuomo in a tweet Friday.
"I agree with @NYGovCuomo attorney," Boylan tweeted. "Glavin said: 'None of this is remarkable, although it may be old-fashioned.' Women are sexually harassed & assaulted every day in this country by powerful men like the governor of New York. It ends now."
Former Cuomo aide Ana Liss, who has accused the governor of fostering a toxic workplace environment, told 13WHAM News that she was interviewed Thursday by four investigators for the AG's probe.
"I don't think the average person in New York would like to know that their governor is an absolute monster," Liss told 13WHAM News.
Liss last week told the outlet: "I'm not going to speak for any more women's experiences. I just know there were activities that happened that if the public knew about it, they would be shocked and appalled — and young women, like right out of college."
Bennett and Boylan also are known to have spoken to investigators for the AG's probe.