A former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday provided new details to back up her claims of sexual harassment — including an allegation that New York’s top elected official kissed her “on the lips” without warning inside his Manhattan office.
Lindsey Boylan — now a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president — made the stunning allegation in an essay posted on the Medium website.
Boylan said the incident took place after her 2018 promotion to be Cuomo’s deputy secretary for economic development and special advisor to the governor — a job she initially turned down “because I didn’t want to be near him.”
“We were in his New York City office on Third Avenue,” she wrote.
“As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.”
Afterward, Boylan wrote, “I came to work nauseous every day,” then resigned on Sept. 26, 2018.
Boylan also alleges that Cuomo suggested, “Let’s play strip poker,” while they were “flying home from an October 2017 event in Western New York on his taxpayer-funded jet.”
Cuomo made the comment as he and Boylan sat facing each other, with his press aide to her right “and a state trooper behind us,” according to her essay.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,” she wrote.
Boylan made her bombshell claims in the wake of The Post’s recent revelation that top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa privately admitted his administration hid the total number of nursing home residents killed by COVID-19 from lawmakers and the public over fear that federal prosecutors would use it “against us.”
In her 1,700-plus-word essay, Boylan said DeRosa and “other top women” around Cuomo “normalized” his alleged harassment so “that only now do I realize how insidious his abuse was.”
Boylan also posted screenshots of government emails, including one in which Cuomo’s executive secretary, Stephanie Benton, purportedly passed along a message from him that referenced a reported former girlfriend to show she was his type.
“He said look up Lisa Shields. You could be sisters. Except you’re the better looking sister,” the Dec. 14, 2016, email said.
Later, Boylan wrote, Cuomo “began calling me ‘Lisa’ in front of colleagues. It was degrading.”
Another image shows a Nov. 1, 2016, email exchange in which Cuomo’s chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, asked Howard Zemsky — then the state’s economic-development czar — whether Boylan would be attending a meeting the next day.
Zemsky wrote back, “Ha!” and added that Boylan would be in Albany “but it will be hard for her to concentrate on the presentations while worrying about how the Gov’s day is going in Rochester.”
In her essay, Boylan also said that after she first accused Cuomo of sexual harassment in a series of tweets in December, “two women reached out to me with their own experiences.”
“One described how she lived in constant fear, scared of what would happen to her if she rejected the Governor’s advances,” she wrote.
“The other said she was instructed by the Governor to warn staff members who upset him that their jobs could be at risk. Both told me they are too afraid to speak out.”
When she initially accused Cuomo, Boylan didn’t provide any details of his alleged harassment and didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.
In a tweet Wednesday, she said, “I never planned to share the details of my experience working in the Cuomo administration, but I am doing so now in hopes that it may make it easier for others to speak their own truth.”
Cuomo’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment, but the governor denied Boylan’s allegations in December.
“It’s not true,” Cuomo said during a news conference a day after her tweets.
“Look, I fought for and I believe a woman has the right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has. But it’s just not true.”