Andrew Cuomo accused of sexual harassment in new lawsuit filed by former executive assistant Brittany Commisso

By admin Nov25,2023

A former executive assistant to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who had accused him of groping her has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. 

Brittany Commisso, who worked for Cuomo starting in 2017, filed the lawsuit under the Adult Survivors Act, which had expanded the time limit under which people could sue for sexual assault or harassment that had previously been beyond the statue of limitations. The window to sue expired at midnight Thursday. 

Cuomo ultimately resigned as governor in August 2021 following sexual misconduct allegations by Commisso and several other women. He has denied the allegations. 

“The continuous sexual harassment by defendant Cuomo included unwelcome sexual advances, sexualized comments about appearance and personal matters, relations, their dating, their sex life, and her marriage, assignment of humiliating and demeaning tasks, hugs, kisses, sexual touching of the buttocks, and forcible touching of the breast all of which was objectively unreasonable and abusive and reasonably perceived by plaintiff as being abusive and an adverse alteration of the conditions and terms of employment she was required to suffer to maintain her employment and avoid adverse changes in the condition and terms of employment which, in fact, she later suffered in retaliation for rejecting and reporting the same,” the lawsuit alleges.

New York Ethics Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation, Aug. 10, 2021, in New York.

Seth Wenig / AP

The lawsuit claims then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul demoted Commisso “from the position of Executive Assistant to the Governor, removed her from the Executive Chamber front office, and assigned her to the demeaning task of answering telephones in the Lieutenant Governor’s office until moved to other offices, including loss of overtime, ostracism, given little or no work, demotion, and loss of career opportunities and Advancement” after Commisso allegedly rejected Cuomo’s offer to date her. 

Rita Glavin, an attorney for Cuomo, said in a statement on Friday that “Ms. Commisso’s claims are provably false, which is why the Albany District Attorney dismissed the case two years ago after a thorough investigation. Ms. Commisso’s transparent attempt at a cash grab will fail. We look forward to seeing her in court.”

Commisso had previously filed a misdemeanor criminal complaint against Cuomo, accusing him of “intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place[d] his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim and onto her intimagte body part. Specifically, the victim’s left breast for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires.” 

The forcible touching charge was later dismissed

“It disgusts me that Andrew Cuomo is even considering running for public office in the wake of (New York City) Mayor Adam’s alleged sexual harassment when he himself will not accept responsibility or even acknowledge his sexual harassment of me, aside from numerous other victims, while the governor of our state,” Commisso told CBS News in a statement Friday through her attorney. 

In an interview with “CBS Mornings” in 2021 before Cuomo resigned, Commisso alleged that Cuomo groped her twice, first in Dec. 2019 and again in Nov. 2020. 

“I know the truth. He knows the truth. I know what happened and so does he,” she said. “I don’t believe that there were 10 staff there that day. I don’t believe his family was there that day. And if that’s what he has to say to make himself feel better, I really, I feel sorry for him.”

Commisso, a single mother, told “CBS Mornings” that she never planned on going public with her allegations, partly because she was worried about what might happen to her daughter. But in March 2021, Cuomo denied other sexual harassment allegations, saying he “never touched anyone inappropriately.”

Commisso was one of 11 women whose allegations were featured in a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

By admin

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