Andrew Cuomo's case is another in a long line of politician harassment scandals
The latest sexual harassment scandal points to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of harassing 11 women who passed through his office. He is not the first to use his position for such means.
Eleven women, current workers and former employees of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, have denounced him for sexual harassment, according to an investigation presented on Tuesday, Aug. 3 against the Democrat.
The investigation, which lasted nearly five months, was conducted by two independent attorneys who interviewed 179 people, including the complainants, former and current employees of the governor's office, state police officers and other officials who regularly interacted with the governor.
"The investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so, violated federal and state law," New York State General Attorney, Letitia James, said during a press conference. It also added that Cuomo "sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by proceeding with unwanted and non-consensual touching and making numerous comments of a sexually suggestive nature that created a hostile work environment for women."
The governor spoke out about the investigation through a televised message saying: "I am 63 years old. I have lived my entire adult life in public. That is not me, that has never been me."
The complaints against Cuomo open the debate on the frequent occurrence of sexual harassment within U.S. politics.
Thanks to the Me Too movement, many women have dared to speak out about these abusive power practices that involve powerful men — politicians and businessmen — with subordinates.
Democratic Senator Al Franken was one of the politicians to face sexual harassment charges. In 2017, a journalist reported that during a trip in 2006, Franken had touched her breasts and kissed her while she slept. She supported her testimony with a photo of the incident.
Another woman alleged days later that the politician had also groped her. Franken published a letter apologizing within hours of the first testimony against him and offered to be investigated by a Senate Ethics Committee.
Around the same time, former President George Bush Sr. was accused by a woman of having touched his butt without consent during a photoshoot in 1992 when he was president. Another six complaints from different women took place between 2004 and 2016. One of the complaints was a minor.
After the first accusations, a spokesman for Bush Sr., who died in 2018, apologized, and recalled that the former president had been bedridden for five years in a wheelchair and alleged that "his arm falls on the waist of people with whom he takes photographs."
In 2020, former model Amy Morris accused U.S. President Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her during the 1997 U.S. Open tennis tournament, when he groped her and put "his tongue down her throat," she explained to the London newspaper The Guardian. The attack, which occurred on Sept. 5 of that year, when Morris was only 24 years old, made her feel "sick" and "raped." This was the most notorious case of the 26 accusations that Donald Trump has received in recent years.
Trump, through his lawyers, denied having harassed, abused or behaved inappropriately with Morris despite the evidence and testimonies that she would have provided to support her statements.
The case of former President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, who in 1998 were 49 and 22-years-old respectively, was one of the most notorious in American politics in recent decades. This particular case was about sexual abuse in a power relationship, where a president took advantage of his subordinate.
Clinton denied having any kind of erotic relationship with Lewinsky after she recounted seven sexual encounters with the president. Before his refusal, Lewinsky presented a yellow dress stained with semen that proved the veracity of her story.
Following this event, Clinton had to admit the existece of the relationship in a recorded testimony before a grand jury on Aug. 17, 1998. Ultimately, the president was exonerated of all charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in a 21-day trial by the Senate.