Lindsey Boylan, the first woman to come forward with sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has provided new details of her treatment in her first in-depth interview since making the claim.
Boylan, a former Cuomo aide, first made her claims in December, calling it “the most toxic team environment” and saying that she has held many jobs in her life, and “waitressing at Friendly’s as a teenager was an infinitely more respectful environment.”
Following Boylan, six other women have come forward with various claims against Cuomo, including inappropriate touching and rampant sexual harassment.
In a new story in the New Yorker, Boylan went into detail about the allegations and subsequent retaliation she faced as a result when she posted a lengthy essay depicting some of the details of the harassment she faced in February.
“I realized I had to own this experience,” she. “It was something I was going to have to talk about eventually.”
Boylan’s coming forward led to others to step up, including another former Cuomo aide, Charlotte Bennett, who said that “coming forward didn’t feel like a choice—it felt like my responsibility to validate Lindsey’s story and signal to others that it was O.K. to come forward.”
It is alleged that Boylan’s first interaction with the governor came following a speech at Madison Square Garden in January 2016, when she was told that Cuomo had a “crush” on her.
For the next two years, Cuomo repeatedly commented on her appearance and touched her more than she felt was necessary or professional, she said.
Following a holiday party in 2016, Boylan was summoned to Cuomo’s office in the Capitol, where the governor reportedly showed her his office, and called attention to a cigar box that he told her was a gift from President Bill Clinton.
Boylan also recounted a story of when she met Cuomo’s new puppy, a Siberian-Shepherd-Malamute mix named Captain, in 2018, which led to a newly disclosed cringeworthy moment.
According to the report, after a meeting on the ground floor of the Governor’s Mansion, Captain jumped up and down near her, and when Cuomo reached out to calm the puppy down, he joked that if he was a dog he “would try to mount” her as well.
“I remember being grossed out but also, like, what a dumb third-grade thing to say.” she said. “I just shrugged it off.”
The hostile environment extended beyond Boylan, she said, including Stephanie Benton, the director of the Governor’s offices.
“I remember, Stephanie had a haircut that he kept making fun of her for all day in front of other people,” Boylan said, though Benton has denied the claim. "And she was crying.”
At a party in the pool house at the Governor’s mansion, in Albany, Boylan recalled seeing a dartboard bearing a photo of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a constant Cuomo critic.
- Related story - Cuomo Allies Drafted Letter To Attack, Damage First Accuser's Credibility, New Report Says
Boylan also spoke about an incident when she was in a car with Cuomo and his top aide, Melissa DeRosa - who also faces allegations of bullying - where the governor verbally excoriated someone over the phone.
“I remember being in the car after one of our trips with the Governor and Melissa. And he is obliterating someone on the phone. He’s obliterating him,” she said. “I’m just assuming it’s one of our staffers. And it was this famous reporter
“His main source of power is destroying you in the press.” she added.. “Look what he did to me.”
The complete article from the New Yorker can be found here.
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