Drip, Drip, Drip

Thinking about how we wouldn’t need an Andrew Cuomo reckoning if prestige media and elite pundits just reported on him accurately in the first place

— Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) February 27, 2021

A lesson for the press

One of the things about serial harassers and abusers is that it almost never happens just once. Once someone comes out to the press, people start coming out of the woodwork.*  

This means, you guessed it, we now have a second aide who has accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment.

The reason that this happens is because typically harassment victims feel isolated, and are terrified of going out on a limb and being there alone.

Once someone else makes an allegation, they realize that they are NOT alone, and come forward as well, and so now we have Charlotte Bennett, former:

A second former aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is accusing him of sexual harassment, saying that he asked her questions about her sex life, whether she was monogamous in her relationships and if she had ever had sex with older men.

The aide, Charlotte Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she left in November, told The New York Times that the governor had harassed her late last spring, during the height of the state’s fight against the coronavirus.

Ms. Bennett, 25, said the most unsettling episode occurred on June 5, when she was alone with Mr. Cuomo in his State Capitol office. In a series of interviews this week, she said the governor had asked her numerous questions about her personal life, including whether she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships, and had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s — comments she interpreted as clear overtures to a sexual relationship.


Ms. Bennett said that during the June encounter, the governor, 63, also complained to her about being lonely during the pandemic, mentioning that he “can’t even hug anyone,” before turning the focus to Ms. Bennett. She said that Mr. Cuomo asked her, “Who did I last hug?”

Ms. Bennett said she had tried to dodge the question by responding that she missed hugging her parents. “And he was, like, ‘No, I mean like really hugged somebody?’” she said.

Mr. Cuomo never tried to touch her, Ms. Bennett said, but the message of the entire episode was unmistakable to her.

“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Ms. Bennett said. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”


Ms. Bennett said she had disclosed the interaction with Mr. Cuomo to his chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, less than a week later and was transferred to another job, as a health policy adviser, with an office on the opposite side of the Capitol, soon after that. Ms. Bennett said she had also given a lengthy statement to a special counsel to the governor, Judith Mogul, toward the end of June.

Ms. Bennett said she ultimately decided not to insist on an investigation because she was happy in her new job and “wanted to move on.” No action was taken against the governor.

It never happens just once.

I’m expecting to see a few more.

The only question is whether people still fear Cuomo the way that they used to.  

If not, he is toast.

*This statement is offered only in the context of the current story regarding Andrew Cuomo, and not on the allegations involving Woody Allen, which I have not, and probabably never will, have a public opinion on.

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