In her lawsuit, Cuomo’s former executive assistant claims that she was regularly harassed by Cuomo, who retaliated against her after she refused to “date” him.
A former executive assistant to then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has filed a lawsuit against the controversial politician, claiming that he repeatedly harassed and molested her.
According to CBS News, the lawsuit was filed earlier this week on behalf of plaintiff Brittany Commisso, who started working for Cuomo in 2017. Commisso’s complaint was filed under the New York Adult Survivors Act, which creates a “look-back window” for civil claims involving sexual assault and sex abuse.
Cuomo, adds CBS News, resigned his position at New York governor in August 2021, following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations. He denied, and continues to deny, the claims against him.
However, Commisso’s lawsuit includes a veritable laundry-list of charges.
“The continuous sexual harassment by defendant Cuomo included unwelcome sexual advances, sexualized comments about appearance and personal matters, relations, their dating, their sex life, and her marriage, assignment of humiliating and demeaning tasks, hugs, kisses, sexual touching of the buttocks, and forcible touching of the breast all of which was objectively unreasonable and abusive and reasonably perceived by plaintiff as being abusive and an adverse alteration of the conditions and terms of employment she was required to suffer to maintain her employment and avoid adverse changes in the condition and terms of employment which, in fact, she later suffered in retaliation for rejecting and reporting the same,” the lawsuit alleges.
Somewhat interestingly, the complaint implicates New York’s current governor—Kathy Hochul—who was then serving as the Empire State’s second-in-command.
Attorneys for Commisso say that Hochul, in her erstwhile capacity as lieutenant governor, demoted their client “from the position of Executive Assistant to the Governor, removed her from the Executive Chamber front office, and assigned her to the demeaning task of answering telephones in the Lieutenant Governor’s office until moved to other offices, including loss of overtime, ostracism, given little or no work, demotion, and loss of career opportunities and Advancement.”
The lawsuit suggests that Hochul took these steps—presumably upon Cuomo’s request—after Commisso declined the governor’s requests to “date” him.
Rita Glavin, an attorney for Cuomo, has since said that the allegations detailed in the claim are “provably false.”
“Ms. Commisso’s claims are provably false, which is why the Albany District Attorney dismissed the case two years ago after a thorough investigation,” Glavin said. “Ms. Commisso’s transparent attempt at a cash grab will fail.”
“We look forward to seeing her in court,” he added.
Commisso maintains that Cuomo regularly engaged in misconduct, including incidents of molestation or physical groping in December 2019 and November 2020.
“I know the truth. He knows the truth. I know what happened, and so does he,” Commisso said in a 2021 interview with CBS. “I don’t believe that there were 10 staff there that day. I don’t believe his family was there that day. And if that’s what he has to say to make himself feel better, I really, really feel sorry for him.”