Gov. Andrew Cuomo used iPhone troubleshooting excuses to get close to two of the women accusing him of sexual harassment and misconduct, a report said Sunday.
Cuomo, 63, has been accused in recent weeks of inappropriate behavior or remarks by seven women, five of them current or former staffers including Charlotte Bennett and a publicly-unidentified woman alleging that the governor reached under her blouse and groped her.
Both of those women say they found themselves summoned into one-on-one situations with the governor after he asked for help resolving similar technical issues with his smartphone, according to an Albany Times Union report published Sunday.
Just one day after Cuomo allegedly asked Bennett, 25, a series of probing questions about her personal life — including whether she’d ever had a relationship with an older man — she was asked to come to his private office inside that state Capitol building.
Once they were alone, Cuomo asked Bennett for help navigating from his phone’s “settings” app to its “notes” app, despite the governor’s having had the device for several months, Jessica Westerman, Bennett’s attorney, told The Times Union.
Bennett, who no longer works for the governor, has not alleged that Cuomo touched her inappropriately during the June 2020 encounter, but felt uncomfortable in light of the questions he had asked the day prior.
About five months later, Cuomo again claimed a problem with his iPhone’s “notes” app in summoning another woman to his private quarters in the Executive Mansion, the Times Union has reported.
As she was helping him, Cuomo allegedly reached under her blouse and touched her breasts, a person briefed on that woman’s account told the outlet.
That alleged run-in has been referred to Albany police.
While apologizing for inappropriate workplace comments, Cuomo has strongly denied having improper physical contact with anyone.
In a New York Magazine piece published last week, a Cuomo spokesperson described the governor as “notoriously technologically inept,” when explaining why he had another then-staffer, identified only as Kaitlin, search eBay for car parts as he looked on.
Dozens of Democratic lawmakers have called on Cuomo to resign amid two ongoing investigations — one headed by state Attorney General Letitia James, the other in the state Assembly as a prelude to impeachment proceedings — but he has refused to do so.