New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday was accused of constructing undesirable advances towards a lady and planting an unsolicited kiss on her cheek at a 2019 wedding ceremony.
“He stated, ‘Can I kiss you?’” Anna Ruch, 33, recalled to The New York Occasions.
“I used to be so confused and shocked and embarrassed.”
The allegation comes after two former state staffers accused Cuomo, 63, of sexual harassment on the job — together with one who claimed the governor kissed her with out warning at his Manhattan workplace, which he has denied.
Not like the opposite two ladies, Ruch has by no means been employed by the governor or the state, in line with the Occasions.
A former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden marketing campaign, Ruch and Cuomo met at a crowded New York Metropolis wedding ceremony reception in September 2019, she advised the newspaper.
Inside moments of being launched, Ruch claims the gov put his hand on the small of her decrease again, which was uncovered in an open-back gown.
“I promptly eliminated his hand with my hand, which I might have thought was a transparent sufficient indicator that I used to be not wanting him to the touch me,” she advised the Occasions.
However the governor apparently didn’t get the trace.
He allegedly famous that Ruch appeared “aggressive” — after which positioned his arms on her cheeks and requested if he might kiss her, in line with the report.
“I turned my head away and didn’t have phrases in that second,” Ruch stated.
Ruch stated she was so shocked, she needed to ask a pal whether or not the gov’s lips had really touched her face as she was pulling away. She was advised that he kissed her cheek.
The pal captured the encounter in a collection of images, together with one supplied to the Occasions that reveals Cuomo holding Ruch’s face.
“It’s the act of impunity that strikes me,” Ruch stated. “I didn’t have a selection in that matter. I didn’t have a selection in his bodily dominance over me at that second. And that’s what infuriates me.”
Different situations of Cuomo’s previous creepy habits have resurfaced on social media amid the sexual harassment allegations — together with how he as soon as requested a feminine journalist to “eat the entire sausage” in entrance of him on the 2016 New York State Honest.
A spokesman for the governor didn’t immediately tackle Ruch’s account, as a substitute referring the Occasions to a press release Cuomo launched Sunday evening the place he tried to elucidate away the claims from his former aides as “jokes” that had been misinterpreted as “undesirable flirtation.”
“To the extent anybody felt that approach, I’m really sorry about that,” the assertion stated.