Gov. Andrew Cuomo had someone else take his mandatory workplace sex harassment training course for him — then signed off on it as if he’d taken it himself, accuser Charlotte Bennett says in a bombshell new interview aired Friday night.
“In 2019, he did not take the sexual harassment training,” the 25-year-old alleges in the interview on “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell.”
“How do you know that?” O’Donnell asks.
“I was there,” Bennett, who worked for him at the time, answers.
“I heard Stephanie, say, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this for you,’” Bennett recalls –referring to office director Stephanie Benton.
“I’m making a joke about the fact that she was completing the training for him,” Bennett recalls.
“And then I heard her at the end ask him to sign the certificate,” Bennett said.
Bennett’s explosive claim that the governor had an aide complete his sex-harassment training for him directly contradicts what he said on Wednesday.
When asked by a reporter if he had taken the mandatory training, Cuomo simply said, “The short answer is yes.”
Benton, meanwhile, “categorically denies the exchange,” according to a statement from the governor’s office that added, “this is not true,” CBS reported.
Also in the interview, Bennett said the governor tasked her with “finding” him a girlfriend — then impatiently asked a day later if she had done so, a revelation teased in previews earlier Friday.
Meanwhile on Friday, Bennett’s lawyer, Debra Katz, sent a letter to state Attorney General Letitia James asking the AG to ensure that evidence related to Bennett’s sexual harassment claims is preserved by the Governor’s office and senior staff.
The urgency of Katz’s request “was heightened by recent new reports that the Governor’s staff modified government reports related to other matters,” the lawyer said in a press statement.
That was an apparent reference to news from Thursday night that Cuomo’s top advisors pushed state health officials to omit from a public report the number of nursing home residents who died in hospitals from COVID-19.
Additional reporting by Bernadette Hogan