Interview transcripts offer window into Cuomo investigation

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo appeared pugilistic and paranoid at instances throughout an 11-hour deposition, made public Wednesday, denying the sexual harassment allegations that pressured him from workplace whereas ascribing political motives to the individuals investigating his behaviour.

His alleged victims, in the meantime, detailed a “poisonous” office within the administration the place they had been subjected to crude remarks, creepy questions on their intercourse lives, hazing and bullying.

New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James launched tons of of pages of transcripts Wednesday of interviews two unbiased investigators did earlier this yr with 10 of Cuomo’s accusers, plus the governor himself.

The interviews, carried out by the previous performing U.S. Lawyer for Manhattan, Joon Kim, and the employment lawyer Anne Clark, targeted totally on the intense allegations towards Cuomo, together with a declare that he groped an aide’s breast after summoning her to his workplace in 2020.

However additionally they produced odd moments and supplied a window into Cuomo’s confrontational model.

Listed here are notable moments from the numerous hours of testimony:



A number of former workers testified intimately about Cuomo and different males on the employees talking in a demeaning and disparaging method about girls.

Brittany Commisso, the aide who mentioned Cuomo groped her on the government mansion final yr, mentioned the governor would look her up and down and as soon as requested whether or not she ever had intercourse with anybody aside from her husband.

“He would make feedback about if I wore a specific factor, how skinny I regarded,” Commisso mentioned. “That I regarded good for my age and being a mom.”

“Once I wore a costume, he would remark about the way it’s about time that you simply confirmed some leg.”

When she was promoted to be an government assistant, former aide Charlotte Bennett purchased heels to put on as a result of colleagues made it clear that Cuomo anticipated it.

“It felt like we had gone again a couple of many years in some methods,” Bennett mentioned.

Cuomo mentioned he might have referred to girls on his employees as “honey, “sweetheart” or “darling.”

“You recognize, one time in my life, `honey’ was a advantageous factor to say, `darling’ was a advantageous factor to say,” he mentioned. “It is not anymore.”

Nonetheless, requested if he had regrets about something he is mentioned to girls within the office, Cuomo mentioned “no.”



At one level throughout his testimony, Cuomo prompt he’d given his workplace supervisor the authority to signal laws into legislation on his behalf.

Kim handed him a replica of a 2019 kind that the governor had purportedly signed saying he had accomplished the state’s annual, obligatory sexual harassment coaching. Kim requested Cuomo whether or not the signature on the shape was actually his.

Cuomo mentioned it might need really been signed by his workplace director, Stephanie Benton.

Cuomo mentioned Benton may signal “just about nearly any doc that comes throughout my desk,” together with government orders and checks. Generally she used an autopen machine that replicated Cuomo’s signature. Or, she simply scrawled his title herself.

“I am not asking about autosigning,” Kim clarified. “I am asking about bodily signing a doc. Has Stephanie Benton bodily signed payments for you, laws?”

“She might have,” Cuomo mentioned.

Hours later, after prompting from his lawyer, Cuomo clarified that Benton solely used the autopen system when signing laws.

Cuomo acknowledged he did not take required sexual harassment coaching in 2020 or 2021, saying he was targeted on the COVID-19 pandemic.

That contradicted what Cuomo instructed reporters final Might, when he mentioned he’d taken sexual harassment coaching “this yr.”



Cuomo took a confrontational tone with Kim and Clark, telling them their investigation was “biased” and “political.”

Cuomo complained that he had referred the investigation to the lawyer normal on the situation she decide an “unbiased reviewer.” Kim’s choice, the governor claimed, was “a perversion” of that situation as a result of whereas a federal prosecutor he had investigated the administration. And Cuomo mentioned Clark had a “bias” as a result of she works as an employment lawyer.

Cuomo additionally prompt Kim was a puppet doing the bidding of his predecessor within the U.S. lawyer’s workplace, Preet Bharara, and “his rabbi,” U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer.

For essentially the most half, Kim did not reply to the assaults. However at one level he requested Cuomo if he was searching for “damaging info” about attorneys concerned within the investigation.

“Effectively, what are you fearful about, Joon?” Cuomo mentioned.

Often, Cuomo appeared to offer the interrogators a tough time for sport.

At one level, he was requested whether or not it was true he’d instructed a girl in his workplace she regarded like one in every of his ex-girlfriends. Cuomo countered by debating Kim, over 4 pages of testimony, concerning the definitions of “date” and girlfriend.”

“Do you perceive what a girlfriend is?” Kim requested.

“Effectively, girlfriend means various things to totally different individuals,” Cuomo mentioned.



Describing the tradition in Cuomo’s workplace, former aide Charlotte Bennett mentioned employees known as to satisfy with Cuomo got here in with dread and misery and would typically be in tears afterward.

“It was managed largely by his mood, and he was surrounded by individuals who enabled his behaviour, like surrounded by sure males — I am going to use that time period — of that is what he needs, that is what he will get, and that temper and that anger or that concern of him abruptly changing into offended undoubtedly dominated the workplace after which trickled down,” Bennett mentioned.

The governor allegedly pounded his fist right into a door in frustration and on one other event instructed a prime aide he was fortunate he did not throw him out the window.

Cuomo and several other of his former workers all testified a few nickname used across the workplace for his prime aides: “the imply women,” a gaggle that included his hard-driving prime adviser, Melissa DeRosa.

Cuomo testified that he was conscious of the moniker, however dismissed it as a “foolish gossipy factor” {that a} former male staffer got here up with.

Cuomo has additionally argued that it is sexist to painting profitable feminine workers as “catty.”

Bennett mentioned the “imply women” had been a part of Cuomo’s efforts to instill division amongst his workers.

“Like his check is organising somebody ready the place they’re being abused by the individuals round him and never simply instantly from him,” Bennett testified.

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