Albany, NY – A former aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday published a graphic description of the sexual harassment she allegedly suffered at the hands of the governor while she was working for him.
Lindsey Boylan first launched accusations without any details in December of 2020 when Cuomo’s name was floated as a possible candidate for Attorney General in President Joe Biden’s administration, she wrote in an essay published on Medium on Feb. 24.
“Yes, @NYGovCuomo sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it, and watched,” Boylan tweeted, according to The Post-Standard at the time. “I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.”
“Not knowing what to expect what’s the most upsetting part aside from knowing that no one would do a damn thing even when they saw it. No one,” Boylan added. “And I *know* I am not the only woman.”
A spokeswoman for Cuomo denied the allegations at the time.
“There is simply no truth to these claims,” the spokeswoman told the New York Post.
Initially, Boylan tweeted that she didn’t want to talk to reporters about her experience, The Post-Standard reported.
“In a few tweets, I told the world what a few close friends, family members and my therapist had known for years: Andrew Cuomo abused his power as Governor to sexually harass me, just as he had done with so many other women,” Boylan wrote.
Afterwards, Cuomo and his aides tried to smear her reputation but that only served to make his former aide more determined.
But she said she also heard from other women who had been victims of New York’s governor.
Boylan also referenced New York State Assemblyman Ron Kim in her Medium essay.
Kim recently accused Cuomo of threatening and bulling him, FOX News reported.
“I expect the Governor and his top aides will attempt to further disparage me, just as they’ve done with Assemblyman Kim. They’d lose their jobs if they didn’t protect him. That’s how his administration works. I know because I was a part of it,” Boylan wrote.
Boylan, who is currently a candidate for Manhattan borough president, gave a graphic, detailed description of some of her least pleasant experiences working with the governor of New York and named names of the senior staff who knew it was happening in her Medium essay.
She said she was warned to “be careful around the governor” when she received her job appointment to chief of staff at the state economic development agency.
Boylan wrote that her boss told her that Cuomo had a “crush” on her not long after she first encountered the governor, and then he started calling her “Lisa” in reference to a former girlfriend whom he said she resembled.
“Stephanie Benton, Director of the Governor’s Offices, told me in an email on December 14, 2016 that the Governor suggested I look up images of Lisa Shields — his rumored former girlfriend — because ‘we could be sisters’ and I was ‘the better looking sister,’” she wrote in Medium. “The Governor began calling me ‘Lisa’ in front of colleagues. It was degrading.”
Boylan said that Cuomo suggested they “play strip poker” during a flight on a taxpayer funded private jet in 2017.
He also showed off his cigar box to her that was given to him by former President Bill Clinton, making what Boylan interpreted as a reference to the famous Monica Lewinsky affair.
“The Governor’s pervasive harassment extended beyond just me,” she wrote in Medium. “He made unflattering comments about the weight of female colleagues. He ridiculed them about their romantic relationships and significant others. He said the reasons that men get women were ‘money and power.’”
Boylan said she tolerated the verbal sexual harassment but had to draw the line at the physical.
So when Cuomo kissed her on the lips when she was in his office to deliver a briefing, it was her first stop toward the door, she wrote in Medium.
“I left past the desk of Stephanie Benton,” Boylan wrote. “I was scared she had seen the kiss. The idea that someone might think I held my high-ranking position because of the Governor’s ‘crush’ on me was more demeaning than the kiss itself.”
“After that, my fears worsened. I came to work nauseous every day. My relationship with his senior team — mostly women — grew hostile after I started speaking up for myself. I was reprimanded and told to get in line by his top aides, but I could no longer ignore it,” she continued in her essay.
Boylan resigned on Sept. 26, 2018 and continued to berate herself for having allowed the situation to continue for so long.
“It was all so normalized — particularly by Melissa DeRosa and other top women around him — that only now do I realize how insidious his abuse was.”
Cuomo’s office has denied the allegations, saying that they are “quite simply false.”