A third woman has accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, saying he made unwanted advances on her and kissed her after being refused.
"I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed," Anna Ruch, 33, told the New York Times in describing the encounter, which the paper said was corroborated by a friend, text message and photographs. "I turned my head away and didn't have words in that moment."
The new claim, which differed from two earlier accusations in that Ruch was not an employee of Cuomo, added to the governor's growing troubles. Already, the accusations by his former aides in recent days had become the single greatest threat to his career and an inescapable subject for New York's political class. On Monday night, following the news of a third accuser, U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), called on her fellow Democrat to resign. "The time has come," she tweeted. "The Governor must resign." Rice, a former prosecutor, represents a moderate district on Long Island.
Cuomo still denies the allegations of physical contact, but yesterday issued a statement regarding his verbal conduct around women which some media described as an "apology".
At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way. I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.