Charlotte Bennett, who served as an executive assistant to former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, filed a lawsuit against the 64-year-old in federal court on Wednesday seeking damages for sexual harassment, gender discrimination and reprisals.
Bennett, 27, was among the first of more than a dozen women to accuse Cuomo of unwanted sexual advances or touching, telling the New York Times in February 2021 that her boss asked her intrusive questions about her sex life, asked her if she was interested in older men and implied that he wanted sex with her.
In his lawsuit on Wednesday, Bennett gives more details about working under Cuomo, saying he “subjected her to sexualized comments about her appearance” and “gave her humiliating and demeaning tasks,” such as blackmailing her. songs for him on command and doing as many push-ups as she could in front of him and other employees.
The lawsuit also says Cuomo allegedly pressed Bennett to comment on the size of his hands, making her extremely uncomfortable due to “the common association between the size of a man’s hand and the size of his penis.” .
In another instance, she claimed, Cuomo forced her to share details of a sexual assault she suffered in college, then told her, “Well, some people have the situation. much worse.”
After her speaking out, Cuomo and top aides publicly defamed her, Bennett said in a statement Wednesday.
“My career as a public servant was abruptly cut short due to sexual harassment and retaliation by Governor Cuomo and his top aides against me after I complained about Governor Cuomo’s misconduct,” she said. “They must all be held accountable for their actions.”
Bennett’s lawsuit also names three Cuomo staffers as defendants, accusing them of mishandling sexual harassment complaints she filed while working for Cuomo.
A detailed state attorney general report released in August 2021 corroborated the claims of Bennett and others, but Cuomo, who was forced to resign soon after, continues to deny any wrongdoing. He claimed his accusers misinterpreted his innocent actions as sexually charged.
Lindsey Boylan, another former Cuomo aide and the first to come forward with allegations against him in late 2020, lent her support to Bennett by a tweet Wednesday.
“Couldn’t be more proud of Charlotte Bennett,” she wrote. “I couldn’t feel more love for someone I didn’t know two years ago. She’s brave and she’s a warrior. And she has my full support.
Bennett’s lawsuit comes a day after Cuomo filed an ethics complaint against New York Attorney General Letitia James over her office’s report into her actions, claiming that she “cynically manipulated a legal process at personal and political ends.
The Huffington Gt