NEW YORK: A onetime aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) who previously accused the former governor of sexual harassment filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Cuomo and several of his top aides.
Charlotte Bennett, 27, sued Cuomo for sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. Three of the former governor’s top aides — Melissa DeRosa, Jill DesRosiers and Judith Mogul — were also named in the federal lawsuit.
Bennett said in a New York Times article last year that Cuomo had asked her personal questions about her sex life, including what she thought of age differences in romantic relationships and whether she had ever had sex with an older man, while she was working as his executive assistant in 2020.
In the same conversation, the former governor reportedly told Bennett that he was open to having a relationship with a woman in her 20s, which she interpreted as Cuomo “propositioning her sexually.” Bennett also accused Cuomo of making sexualized comments about her appearance and assigning her humiliating tasks.
Bennett’s went public with her allegations soon after another Cuomo staffer, Lindsey Boylan, came forward. An investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) released in August 2021 found that Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women, leading the governor to resign.
In her lawsuit, Bennett also accused Cuomo, as well as DeRosa, DesRosiers and Mogul, of retaliation. The lawsuit claimed that Bennett was assigned to a “do nothing” position after reporting Cuomo’s harassment to DesRosiers and requesting a transfer.
DesRosiers, Mogul and DeRosa also failed to refer Bennett’s complaint to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations for investigation, despite being required to report it, the lawsuit noted.
After Bennett went public with her sexual harassment allegations, the lawsuit accused Cuomo of retaliating by “publicly casting doubt” on Bennett’s allegations and “impugning” her credibility.