The first woman to publicly accuse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, Lindsey Boylan, a former aide, revealed more details of the harassment to Ronan Farrow for an article in The New Yorker. Quite frankly, the details are gross and disgusting and if true, make one wonder how this man is still the governor of New York.
Boylan revealed that when he saw her playing with a dog, Cuomo joked that he would try to “mount” her as if he were a dog. “I remember being grossed out but also, like, what a dumb third-grade thing to say,” Boylan told Farrow. She said that she essentially shrugged it off.
She also described how toxic the environment was, how aides were bullied, and Cuomo’s opponents were the target of his wrath. She recalled how he made fun of one female aide’s hair and a male aide’s weight, how he also had a dartboard with a picture of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on it in the governor’s mansion. De Blasio and Cuomo are long term enemies.
Boylan previously had described how Cuomo gave her an unwanted kiss on the lips without warning and asked her to play strip poker while on a plane.
While Cuomo is accused of all kinds of negligence and deliberate coverup in the case of the nursing home scandal, Cuomo apparently moved with all haste to meet and consider how to retaliate against Boylan, according to the article, including leaking information out of her personnel file including the claim that she bullied people including black women, in order to try to tarnish her.
Cuomo’s top asides held a series of urgent calls to coordinate retaliation & arrived at plan to leak Lindsey Boylan’s personnel file….
Ok, so drag your feet on life and death data but urgently call all hands on deck to coordinate retaliation. Got it.https://t.co/dUMwj6ABo7
— Ron T. Kim (@rontkim) March 19, 2021
Assemblyman Ron Kim is a Democrat whom Cuomo also allegedly threatened for asking too many questions about the nursing home scandal. Kim’s uncle died in one of the nursing homes.
One of the more fascinating parts of the story was what Boylan said about Hillary Clinton. She said that Clinton had been a personal hero of hers since she was little (obviously unaware of who Clinton really was).
As Boylan walked to Cuomo’s office in the Capitol, she called her husband and told him that she was afraid. In a statement, her husband said that he could “sense absolute terror in her voice.” Cuomo showed her his office, and called attention to a cigar box that he told her was a gift from President Bill Clinton. Since childhood, Boylan had idolized Hillary Clinton. She once waited in line for hours to have a photo taken with her, an experience that she said “changed my life.” Boylan said that the obvious reference to Clinton’s sexual behavior disturbed her, because the Governor knew that she considered Hillary Clinton a role model. “It was deeply distressing,” Boylan told me.
But then Hillary Clinton responded to her story about Cuomo.
Clinton issued a statement saying that the allegations against Cuomo are “difficult to read” and “raise serious questions.” She emphasized the attorney general’s investigation, stopping short of calling for the Governor’s resignation. Clinton, Boylan told me, “was the great hero of my life.” She said that this was no longer the case. “There’s no way you don’t know who this man is if you’ve worked with, or around, him for decades,” she added.
Clinton had been in New York and involved in New York politics for decades at this point, and Cuomo served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under then-President Clinton between 1997 and 2001. So, Boylan obviously thought Clinton had reason to know more. But if she wasn’t going to do anything about her own husband’s predilections, why would she do anything about Cuomo? Not only didn’t she care about “believing all women” at the time, the Clinton team treated the women with disdain, calling them “bimbo eruptions” and otherwise disparaging them. Boylan now knows better. But just one of the many reasons not to ever put Clinton in power again.
Boylan and her attorney have now talked to the New York Attorney General about the alleged harassment by Cuomo.