Lindsey Boylan details alleged sexual harassment by Andrew Cuomo, says he touched her lower back and kissed her
'Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,' the ex-aide wrote in her account
In December last year, Lindsey Boylan, a former aide of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, claimed that he had sexually harassed her for years in a series of tweets. On Wednesday, February 24, Boylan published an essay titled ‘My story of working with Governor Cuomo’ on Medium, detailing her history with the Democratic governor.
Boylan, who worked for the governor from 2015 to 2018, in her 1,700-plus-word essay also shared screenshots of government emails, including one in which Stephanie Benton, Director of the Governor’s Offices, allegedly passed along a message from him that referenced a rumored former girlfriend to show she was his type.
She said, “After my tweets about the Governor in December, two women reached out to me with their own experiences. One described how she lived in constant fear, scared of what would happen to her if she rejected the Governor’s advances. The other said she was instructed by the Governor to warn staff members who upset him that their jobs could be at risk. Both told me they are too afraid to speak out.”
“Governor Andrew 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,” wrote Boylan.
She said that her first encounter with the Governor took place on January 6, 2016, and she was “surprised by how much attention he paid me.” Soon after that, she claimed that her boss informed her that the Governor had a “crush” on her. Benton then told her in an email on December 14, 2016, that “the Governor suggested I look up images of Lisa Shields -- his rumored former girlfriend -- because ‘we could be sisters’ and I was ‘the better looking sister.' The Governor began calling me ‘Lisa’ in front of colleagues. It was degrading.”
Boylan alleged that the Governor would go out of his way to touch her lower back, arms, and legs. “He gave roses to female staffers on Valentine’s Day and arranged to have one delivered to me, the only one on my floor,” she wrote. “A signed photograph of the Governor appeared in my closed-door office while I was out. These were not-so-subtle reminders of the Governor exploiting the power dynamic with the women around him.”
In 2018, Boylan was promoted to Deputy Secretary for Economic Development and Special Advisor to the Governor. She said that she had initially turned the job down because she didn’t want to be near him. During a one-on-one briefing on economic and infrastructure projects in his New York City office on Third Avenue, Cuomo allegedly “stepped in front of me and kissed me on the lips.”
On September 26, 2018, Boylan sent a mass email informing staff members of her resignation. “Telling my truth isn’t about seeking revenge. I was proud to work in the Cuomo Administration. For so long I had looked up to the Governor. But his abusive behavior needs to stop,” she said in her essay.