Current aide latest woman to allege sexual harassment from Cuomo, NY Times reports

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Current aide latest woman to allege sexual harassment from Cuomo, NY Times reports
EMBED <>More Videos

One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's current aides is the latest woman to lodge sexual harassment allegations against him, the New York Times reports.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's current aides is the latest woman to lodge sexual harassment allegations against him, the New York Times reports.

Alyssa McGrath, 33, a current administrative assistant in Cuomo's office, told The Times that he looked down her shirt, quizzed her about her marital status, and told her she was beautiful, using an Italian phrase she had to ask her parents to interpret.

McGrath didn't say the governor made sexual contact with her but thought his behavior was sexual harassment.

She recalled Cuomo kissing her on the forehead and gripping her firmly around the sides while posing for a photo at a 2019 office Christmas party.

Cuomo lawyer Rita Glavin responded by reiterating his denials of inappropriate advances and touching.

She told the Times he has greeted both men and women with hugs and kisses on the cheek, has put his arm around people for photos and uses such Italian phrases as "ciao bella" ("hi, beautiful" or "'bye, beautiful"), though she said he didn't say that to McGrath.

"None of this is remarkable, although it may be old-fashioned," Glavin added.

Alyssa McGrath's attorney, Mariann Wang, released a statement:

The governor's deflections are not credible. This was not just friendly banter. 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."

Meanwhile, Cuomo's first accuser, Lindsey Boylan, detailed her claims of sexual harassment in a new interview with celebrity #MeToo journalist Ronan Farrow.

In the interview, published in The New Yorker, the governor's former adviser provides new anecdotes of the embattled governor's alleged harassment, bullying, and intimidation tactics.

Boylan, 36, first came forward with allegations in December and fleshed them out in a late February blog post amid scrutiny of Cuomo for the pandemic's death toll among residents in state nursing homes. At least seven women total have come forward with claims since.

In her interview with Farrow, Boylan recounted a 2018 incident in which a dog jumped on her in the governor's mansion and Cuomo "joked that if he were a dog, he would try to 'mount' her as well."

"I remember being grossed out but also...what a dumb third-grade thing to say," Boylan said in the interview.

RELATED: With Gov. Cuomo under fire, No. 2 Kathy Hochul treads carefully

Eight women have accused the governor of some form of sexual harassment or inappropriate touching.

Boylan had previously alleged that Cuomo tried to kiss her during a meeting in his New York City office in 2018.

Farrow appeared on "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview Friday morning. He explained why Boylan wanted to do the interview with the New Yorker.

"We unearthed emails, texts, both internal communications in the governor's office that talked about her looks, and alluded to an elevated level of interest from the governor, and also private communications with her mother, with friends, where she seemed to be fearful of the governor ... Each of those individual incidents comes against a backdrop of what she really did perceive to be serial harassment."

A spokesperson for Cuomo declined to comment to the magazine on this claim but reiterated Cuomo's denial that he behaved inappropriately with Boylan.

The article also details newly reported plans by Cuomo advisors to discredit Boylan, by reportedly leaking Boylan's personnel records and releasing a letter attacking her credibility. They allegedly wanted to use the press to turn the tables on her and accuse her of bullying female colleagues, including Black women.

"My life was...for a period, destroyed," Boylan said.

"I think this is one of the most significant revelations here, this matches more of the emerging data in multiple stories that show a pattern of the governor weaponizing any available information from his aides and through intermediaries in New York politics and getting them into the press," Ronan told "GMA."

The governor has repeatedly denied allegations of inappropriate behavior.

"I never harassed anyone. I never abused anyone. I never assaulted anyone now, and I never would, right?" Cuomo previously told the press.

Cuomo has, however, admitted he may have made people feel uncomfortable.

"I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it," Cuomo said.

He's also facing two investigations from lawmakers and the state's attorney general.

RELATED: Schumer, Gillibrand, join Dems in calling for Cuomo's resignation

Most recently, former policy and operations aide Ana Liss met with investigators from the state attorney general's office Thursday via Zoom.

"I don't think the average person in New York State would like to know that their governor is an absolute monster," Liss said.

President Joe Biden told "GMA's" George Stephanopoulos that if the investigations show wrongdoing, the governor should step aside.

"That's what I think happens, and by the way, it very well may be that there's a criminal prosecution that's attached to it," Biden said.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* Follow us on YouTube

* More local news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts Submit a News Tip