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'I'm aware of what's going on with my brother but I can't cover it': Chris Cuomo breaks his silence on allegations against the New York govenor after a THIRD woman alleges sexual misconduct claiming Andrew asked 'can I kiss you?' at a wedding

 CNN anchor Chris Cuomo said on Monday night that he was aware of the accusations about his brother, after a third woman came forward to accuse Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct.

'Obviously I am aware of what is going on with my brother,' said Chris, 50. 

'And obviously I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now, of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so.'


He then moved on, having thanked his audience 'for being straight with me, and I've always been straight with you'. He said he 'always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so.'

The new accusations on Monday night led to the first call from a Democrat member of Congress for Cuomo to resign. Kathleen Rice, who represents Long Island, said it was time for the three-term-governor to go. 

Rice spoke after Anna Ruch, now 33, told The New York Times that she met Cuomo at a wedding in September 2019.

The governor, now 63, had given a toast to the newlyweds, and Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, thanked him for his words.

She claimed that he then touched her naked back, and she removed his hand.

Anna Ruch, now 33, met Andrew Cuomo at her friends' wedding in September 2019. He was photographed cupping her face

Cuomo, governor of New York since 2011, has now been accused of sexual harassment by three women

He said she was 'aggressive', then cupped her face in his hands and asked: 'Can I kiss you?'

A photographer captured the moment, with Ruch looking distressed and taken aback, while Cuomo stares intently at her.

'I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,' said Ruch.

'I turned my head away and didn't have words in that moment.'

DailyMail.com has asked Ruch for comment. 

She told The New York Times: 'It's the act of impunity that strikes me. 

'I didn't have a choice in that matter. I didn't have a choice in his physical dominance over me at that moment. And that's what infuriates me.'

After the encounter, Ruch said her friend 'looked at me and said, 'Are you OK?' with such genuine concern in her face that I realized how obviously inappropriate it was.'

Later, she tried to find the governor at the reception to give him a piece of her mind but couldn't track him down.

'I would have rather just said it that night,' Ruch said. 'I wanted to say, 'That wasn't OK.'

She added: 'I felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed when really he is the one who should have been embarrassed.'

On Monday night Ruch told The New York Post that the photo of Cuomo clutching her face speaks for itself.

'The photo pretty much sums it up. Gross. What the f–k?,' she said, adding: 'Every woman has to go through this in the 21st century.'

The news came as:

  • Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi spoke out with concern about the allegations
  • Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, said on his Monday morning radio show the accusations were 'sickening'
  • Cuomo's team announced that, for their COVID inquiry, they had hired Elkan Abramowitz
  • Abramowitz has represented Harvey Weinstein and Woody Allen but is not representing Cuomo in the harassment issue 

Ruch's accusations follow those made by Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett, who both alleged sexual harassment.

Both Boylan and Bennett tweeted their support for Ruch on Monday night.

'This doesn't make me feel validated. It makes me feel sick,' said Boylan. 

'I feel nauseous thinking about Anna's experience. I am sending her love and light. Charlotte and I are with you, Anna.'

Bennett said: 'I stand with Anna Ruch. Anna — I hear you, I see you. I'm so sorry. His inappropriate and aggressive behavior cannot be justified or normalized. 

'Thank you for your courage and strength. Here for you always.' 

Chris Cuomo, the younger brother of the governor, opened his CNN show Monday night by acknowledging the accusations

Chris Cuomo, the younger brother of the governor, opened his CNN show Monday night by acknowledging the accusations

Charlotte Bennett, 25, accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in his Albany office, including quizzing her about dating older men
Lindsey Boylan accused him of attempting to kiss her on the mouth in 2018

Charlotte Bennett (left), 25, accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in his Albany office, including quizzing her about dating older men. Lindsey Boylan (right) accused him of attempting to kiss her on the mouth in 2018

Anna Ruch (right), who formerly worked for the Obama White House as Photo Editor & Operations Director, is seen in a September 23, 2019 tweet by a friend with caption: 'There are very few in this world beyond my family, who I hold close to my heart...who's friendship is beyond a gift to my life...that I'll forever love and protect. @annaruch is the definition of that wondrous soul and today I celebrate her birth into our universe!'

Anna Ruch (right), who formerly worked for the Obama White House as Photo Editor & Operations Director, is seen in a September 23, 2019 tweet by a friend with caption: 'There are very few in this world beyond my family, who I hold close to my heart...who's friendship is beyond a gift to my life...that I'll forever love and protect. @annaruch is the definition of that wondrous soul and today I celebrate her birth into our universe!'

Boylan, now 36, was working at the New York state economic development agency in 2018 when Cuomo kissed her on the mouth, she said.

He has denied the incident ever happened.

Bennett, now 25, was working within the state health department when, last June, Cuomo quizzed her intently on her relationships and whether she ever had sex with older men. She told The New York Times she felt that he was propositioning her, and was intensely uncomfortable.

She asked to be reassigned to a different job.

Cuomo has apologized to her, claiming it was intended as a lighthearted joke.

Pressure is mounting on the three-term governor, who was already under fire for his handling of a scandal involving the cover-up of data showing COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. 

On Monday night it emerged that the Cuomo administration had hired a high-profile defense attorney who has counted Woody Allen and Harvey Weinstein among his clients, to represent them during the COVID inquiry.

Lawyer Elkan Abramowitz confirmed to the Daily News he and his firm are representing Gov. Cuomo and his top officials in relation to the the nursing home inquiry, but have 'not been retained on the sexual harassment matter.' 

Cuomo has also initiated an inquiry into the sexual harassment allegations, asking state attorney general Letitia James to pick someone to head the inquiry.

President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, New York's two Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand as well as New York Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerrold Nadler were among Democrats who called on Cuomo to launch the inquiry.

One of their colleagues went further. Representative Rice on Monday night said Cuomo should resign. 

James, pictured, has demanded Cuomo refer the entire investigation into alleged sexual harassment to her

James, pictured, has demanded Cuomo refer the entire investigation into alleged sexual harassment to her

Ruch worked in the Obama White House before switching to join the Biden 2020 campaign team

Ruch worked in the Obama White House before switching to join the Biden 2020 campaign team

The first woman to come forward with her allegations was Boylan, a former state economic development officer. 

She claimed on Wednesday Cuomo had harassed her several times between 2016 and 2018, at one time planting an unwanted kiss on her lips in his Manhattan office, and on another occasion asking her to play strip poker on his taxpayer-funded jet as they flew back from a meeting in western New York.

Boylan, 36, said Cuomo 'has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected.

'His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right, she wrote on Medium.com.

'He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.'

Then on Saturday Charlotte Bennett, 25, claimed she was in Cuomo's office in Albany, on June 5 last year, when he asked her if she thought age made a difference in relationships and said he was open to having affairs with women in their 20s.

She also said that he had told her of his loneliness during the pandemic saying he 'can't even hug anyone.'

'I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,' said Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy advisor in the Cuomo administration before she quit in November.

'I was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.'

In a statement, Cuomo initially said: 'I never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate. The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported.' 

He also said he was trying to be a 'mentor' to her.

 

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