Gov. Andrew Cuomo accuser Charlotte Bennett said he tasked her with “finding” him a girlfriend — then impatiently asked a day later if she had done so, according to a newly teased clip of her bombshell interview.
Bennett said she was called into the governor’s office on June 6, a Saturday — one day after she claims he made it clear he wanted to “sleep with me.”
“He asked me a few questions about how to use his iPhone and then sends me back to wait,” Bennett said on “CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell” in a segment that aired Friday on “CBS This Morning.”
“And finally, he calls me back in and asks if I’ve found him a girlfriend yet.”
“I said, ‘Not yet.’ I said I was working on it.”
Cuomo’s alleged demand first came when he hauled Bennett, then an executive assistant, into his office to take dictation — but asked her to turn off the recorder.
“And then he explains at that point that he is looking for a girlfriend,” she recalled in a portion of the CBS interview that aired Thursday night. “He’s lonely. He’s tired.”
Bennett, who started working for Cuomo as an entry-level aide in January 2019, said she “loved my job” — and therefore couldn’t be lying.
“I really looked up to him. I looked up to the governor. He was my mentor — I really did see it that way,” Bennett said.
Asked by O’Donnell what she had to say to her critics, Bennett said, “It’s hard enough sharing this story when it’s true. I can’t imagine what it would be like to sit here and tell you lies.”
She also slammed Cuomo’s recent apology, saying he wasn’t, as he claimed, joking.
“I wasn’t laughing,” she said. “And he wasn’t laughing.”
On Thursday night, Bennett recalled on the show that the 63-year-old governor asked probing questions about her sex life when they were alone together on June 5.
“I thought, he’s trying to sleep with me. The governor’s trying to sleep with me and I’m deeply uncomfortable and I have to get out of this room as soon as possible,” Bennett said.
“What made you think he was trying to sleep with you?” O’Donnell asked.
“Without explicitly saying it, he — he implied to me that I was old enough for him and he was lonely,” Bennett said.
O’Donnell asked Bennett if Cuomo was likely “emboldened” by all the “national attention” he got from his televised coronavirus briefings.
“Absolutely. I think he felt like he was untouchable in a lot of ways,” she answered.
Bennett also told O’Donnell she had no doubt about Cuomo’s motives.
“Do you believe he was propositioning you?” O’Donnell asked.
“Yes,” Bennett answered.
“For what?” O’Donnell asked.
“Sex,” Bennett replied.
Bennett — one of three women who’ve made misconduct allegations against Cuomo — also rejected his qualified apologies during a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Cuomo said he felt “awful” and “embarrassed” over the spiraling sexual harassment allegations against him — while maintaining that he wasn’t aware those actions were wrong and insisting: “I’m not going to resign.”
“It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it,” he insisted. “I feel awful about it and frankly I am embarrassed by it and that’s not easy to say — but that’s the truth.”
But Cuomo also repeatedly conditioned his apology on the notion that he had upset his accusers inadvertently.
“No offense, but if they were offended by it, then it was wrong. And if they were offended by it, I apologize. And if they were hurt by it, I apologize. And if they felt pain from it, I apologize. I apologize,” he said.
“I did not intend it. I didn’t mean it that way. But if that’s how they felt, that’s all that matters and I apologize.”
But when pressed by a reporter over to whom exactly he was apologizing, Cuomo said, “the young woman who worked here, who said that I made her feel uncomfortable in the workplace.”
Bennett said it was “not an apology.”
“It’s not an issue of my feelings. It’s an issue of his actions. The fact is that he was sexually harassing me and he has not apologized for sexually harassing me. And he can’t even use my name,” she told CBS’ O’Donnell.
More of Bennett’s interview will air Friday night on “CBS Evening News.”
Cuomo and his press secretary have repeatedly denied other sexual harassment accusations by another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, 36, now a Democratic candidate for Manhattan borough president.
The allegations by Bennett, Boylan and a third woman — Anna Ruch, 33, who says Cuomo grabbed her face and kissed her without her consent at a Manhattan wedding reception in 2019 — are the subject of a pending probe by an independent law firm to be selected by Attorney General Letitia James.