In the face of sexual harassment allegations, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has always tried to maintain some shred of innocence. He continued this draining posture at the Tuesday press conference where he announced his plans to resign in the wake of state Attorney General Letitia James’ bombshell report, which concluded that Cuomo had, in fact, sexually harassed nearly a dozen current and former state employees. “I never would intentionally disrespect a woman,” he told reporters as if the word “intentionally” might nullify those that came after it.
Anyway, that’s enough out of Cuomo. Here’s what some of the women who came forward to accuse him have to say about the news.
Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis, via ABC News:
Mariann Wang, an attorney representing two women—Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis—who accused Cuomo of inappropriate behavior, said in a statement that her clients ‘feel both vindicated and relieved that Cuomo will no longer be in a position of power over anyone.’
James’ report states that Cuomo made inappropriate comments and engaged in harassing conduct toward McGrath, who was Cuomo’s executive assistant. Limmiatis met Cuomo at an event she attended on behalf of her employer in 2017 and accused him of inappropriate touching, according to the report.
‘Ms. McGrath and Ms. Limmiatis remain grateful that their voices and experiences were heard and substantiated by the AG’s investigators, and feel solidarity with all women who continue to be abused by men in power,’ Wang added. ‘At least today, one of them has faced some consequences.’
Lindsey Boylan, via The Guardian:
Lindsey Boylan, another former Cuomo aide who spoke out publicly early on and who investigators described as having been subjected to retaliation by Cuomo and his office when she did so, said: ‘From the beginning, I simply asked that the governor stop his abusive behavior.
‘It became abundantly clear he was unable to do that, instead attacking and blaming victims until the end. It is a tragedy that so many stood by and watched these abuses happen. I am thankful for the attorney general, the investigators and all those who have pursued the truth despite intimidation and threats of retaliation.’
Charlotte Bennett, via ABC News:
Debra Katz, an attorney for former Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett, called the governor’s decision to resign ‘a testament to the growing power of women’s voices since the beginning of the #MeToo movement.’
‘We are humbled by Charlotte’s and the other complainants’ remarkable courage in coming forward,’ Katz added in a statement. ‘They made that extraordinary personal and professional sacrifice because they knew what it was like to have careers derailed and relationships destroyed by a single powerful individual. They knew the pain and indignity of being sexually propositioned and groped. And critically, they wanted to make sure no other women endured the same.’
She concluded Cuomo stepping down ‘is not the end of our reckoning with sexual harassment, but it is an important step in the right direction.’