Summary List PlacementThe 25-year-old former aide who came forward to accuse NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment over the weekend gave her first televised interview, part of which aired on CBS Friday morning.
The former senior briefer to the governor, Charlotte Bennett, delivered an account with more context and severe new details about how Cuomo was “grooming” her for a sexual relationship.
“Without explicitly saying it, he implied to me that I was old enough for him, and he was lonely,” Bennett told CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell.
Charlotte Bennett, one of the women accusing NY Gov. Cuomo of sexual harassment, is speaking on camera for the first time.Bennett exclusively describes the deeply uncomfortable conversations with the governor, including a new, previously unreported encounter on June 6. pic.twitter.com/al0559J9dx — Norah O’Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) March 5, 2021
“He is a textbook abuser,” she said at another point. “He lets his temper and his anger rule the office, but he was very sweet to me for a year in the hopes that, maybe one day, when he came onto me, I would think we were friends, or that it was appropriate, or that it was okay.”
Bennett described a one-on-one encounter she had with Cuomo on June 5 of last year, where she said he came the closest to explicitly propositioning her.
“When he said he was lonely I mentioned that his daughters had been around,” Bennett, who is close to the same age as Cuomo’s three daughters, said. “He also rejected that, and said, ‘Yeah, I love my daughters, but I want a girlfriend.'”
In a new disclosure, Bennett said she was invited back to work the next day, a Saturday, where she had yet another one-on-one meeting with the governor, ostensibly to help him fix an issue with his iPhone.
“I thought any moment something can happen, and I have no power here.”
The governor’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, and they referred CBS to previous statements.
“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable, and I truly and deeply apologize for it,” Cuomo said on Wednesday. “And frankly, I am embarrassed by it. And that’s not easy to say, but that’s the truth,”
“Something just happened and I can’t even type it out or put it in a video,” Bennett wrote to one of her friends on the afternoon of June 5.
O’Donnell asked Bennett what she would say to those who doubt her story.
“It’s hard enough sharing this story when it’s true,” Bennett said. “I can’t imagine what it would be like to sit here and tell you lies. I don’t know who would do that. I couldn’t make this up.”
CBS will air the full interview on its evening news program at 6:30 p.m. EST.
Political pressure has been mounting on Cuomo, with several Democratic lawmakers telling Insider that they’re open to impeaching Cuomo if he won’t resign, which he refused to do when he made his first televised appearance since the scandal began to snowball.
In addition to the three women and two former aides accusing him of sexual harassment, a major development in the other scandal rocking the Cuomo administration broke overnight, with the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reporting that the governor’s aides altered a report to lower the number of nursing home-related COVID-19 deaths from close to 1,000 to just 6,432.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: This incredible animation shows how deep the ocean really is