Why did Roberta Kaplan resign? Time's Up exec allegedly tried to discredit Andrew Cuomo victim

Roberta Kaplan told Time’s Up in her resignation letter that she couldn’t answer questions about Cuomo as a practicing lawyer


                            Why did Roberta Kaplan resign? Time's Up exec allegedly tried to discredit Andrew Cuomo victim
Roberta Kaplan had reviewed a draft op-ed letter that attacked Lindsey Boylan, who was the first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment (Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Chairwoman of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, Roberta Kaplan, resigned from the organization on Monday, August 9. She was facing ardent criticism for her ties to governor Andrew Cuomo and her alleged efforts to discredit one of his accusers. Kaplan was referenced in Attorney General Letitia James’ last week released report that accused Cuomo of sexually harassing 11 women.

According to investigators' report, Kaplan had reviewed a draft op-ed letter that attacked Lindsey Boylan, who was the first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment. Kaplan's law firm represented Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa during the attorney general’s investigation. She told Time’s Up in her resignation letter that she couldn’t answer questions about Cuomo or DeRosa as a practicing lawyer.

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Roberta Kaplan (Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune)

 

Kaplan said in the resignation letter, "I therefore have reluctantly come to the conclusion that an active law practice is no longer compatible with serving on the Board at Time’s Up at this time and I hereby resign." Kaplan further mentioned in her resignation letter the severity of the attorney general’s findings. "Unfortunately, recent events have made it clear that even our apparent allies in the fight to advance women can turn out to be abusers, " she said.

According to investigators, DeRosa led the efforts to discredit Boylan. It is important to note here that DeRosa resigned on Sunday, August 8. Reportedly, DeRosa told investigators that Kaplan had reviewed the letter regarding Boylan and was "okay with some changes". "The draft letter or op-ed attacking Ms. Boylan — particularly when combined with the release of the confidential internal records to the press — constitutes retaliation,” the investigators' report said. However, the op-ed letter was never published.

Kaplan’s resignation comes the same day that one of Cuomo's former aides, Brittany Commisso, who filed the most serious accusations against him, went public with the charges in a new interview. She claimed that Cuomo had groped and hugged her for "personal sexual satisfaction" and turned her "dream job … into a nightmare". Commisso explained what she called "unwanted touching" during "creepy encounters" with Cuomo. Commisso started working for Cuomo in 2017.

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