ANDREW Cuomo’s ex-aide Lindsey Boylan has claimed the New York Governor kissed her on lips and asked her to play strip poker.
Boylan, a 36-year-old former government official who is running for the post of Manhattan Borough President, has provided more details into her sexual harassment claims against Cuomo.
Cuomo’s office has since denied Boylan’s allegations.
The Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president detailed the instances of alleged harassment in an essay published on the open publishing platform Medium.
Boylan previously hit headlines in December 2020 after making allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo, 63 – who she worked for between 2015 and 2018.
Her new essay, titled “My story of working with Governor Cuomo”, was published today.
She claimed Cuomo kissed her on the lips at his New York City in 2018 – following a promotion.
Boylan, who is married to investment banker LeRoy Kim, wrote: “As I got up to leave and walk toward an open door, he stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips. I was in shock, but I kept walking.”
“I left past the desk of Stephanie Benton. 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.”
She then recounted being “nauseous every day” at work and ultimately sent a resignation email to staffers on September 26, 2018.
Boylan’s began her lengthy essay by quoting a “crude comment” allegedly made by Cuomo.
She accused Cuomo of saying: “Let’s play strip poker.”
“We were flying home from an October 2017 event in Western New York on his taxpayer-funded jet,” Boylan wrote.
“He was seated facing me, so close our knees almost touched. His press aide was to my right and a state trooper behind us.”
Boylan claimed to respond sarcastically as she said: “That’s exactly what I was thinking.”
“I tried to play it cool. But in that moment, I realized just how acquiescent I had become,” she added.
Boylan, who recently faced harassment accusations of her own after an internal memo from 2018 indicated that she belittled and yelled at female staffers before resigning from her job as Cuomo’s special adviser – slammed the governor for the “culture within his administration.”
She explained: “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. He used intimidation to silence his critics.
“And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Cuomo’s spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard denied the claims and made the following statement: “As we said before, Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false.”
The statement then pointed out a claim Boylan made in one of her blog posts – about a plane trip in October 2017.
“There was no flight where Lindsey was alone with the Governor, a single press aide, and a NYS Trooper,” the office said, in an apparent effort to prove the alleged poker incident never occurred.
John Maggiore, Howard Zemsky, Dani Lever and Abbey Fashouer Collins – who were all on the flights with Boylan – collectively confirmed in the statement: “We were on each of these October flights and this conversation did not happen.”
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Boylan held the position of deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor for three years.
But the local politician is claiming Cuomo sexually harassed her “for years.”
“Many saw it, and watched,” Boylan said on Twitter, without naming anyone. “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?”