Lindsay Boylan was the first of 11 women who accused former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment
The first women who accused former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct, which caused the politician to resign in disgrace last month, criticized his brother after news broke out of his own alleged sexual harassment in 2005.
Lindsay Boylan took aim at CNN host Chris Cuomo and his employers after Cuomo’s old boss at ABC, Shelley Ross, revealed that he had grabbed her but during a party 16 years ago.
Ross recounted the incident in an opinion piece in the New York Times, saying Cuomo sent an email to her afterwards, saying he was ‘ashamed.’
She wrote that she wanted Cuomo, who advised his brother during his sexual harassment scandal, to be held accountable for his actions.
Boylan, a former Cuomo aide who broke her silence of the politician’s sexual harassment in December 2020, praised Ross for focusing on ‘accountability.’
‘Thank you Shelley Ross. Your focus on accountability is exactly right,’ Boylan tweeted. ‘@ChrisCuomo will you hold yourself accountable?’
‘Accountability is key. Without accountability, there is no moving forward or getting passed abuse. Accountability involves taking responsibility, clearly understanding the enormity of the harm, and showing transparency in attempts to change,’ she wrote on Friday.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment by his former ABC boss Shelley Ross (right), who claims he squeezed her buttock upon greeting her in a bar
Andrew Cuomo left and Chris Cuomo right. The CNN anchor has come under fire for his handling of his brother’s sexual harassment scandal
Boylan tweeted that she wanted to see Chris Cuomo held accountable for his actions
Boylan also asked CNN and its CEO, Jeff Zucker, to weigh in on the case and hold Cuomo accountable.
Boylan has become a champion for accountability after she face harsh criticism for her claims against Andrew Cuomo, who launched a smear campaign against her when she first spoke out against him, according to a report by the State Attorney General.
She has since filed a lawsuit against the former governor for his efforts to ‘discredit’ her and make an example out of her to the other women he harassed, the NY Times reported.
Chris Cuomo had defended his brother against Boylan’s claims as well and has come under fire for advising his brother during the scandal.
Chris Cuomo is seen here leaving the Hamptons Airport Friday night – the first time he’s been seen his the explosive allegations came to light
Ross, who has spoken out in the past about being sexually harassed by the late Fox News boss and serial sex pest Roger Ailes, said Cuomo gave her a ‘bear hug’ in the bar and grabbed and squeezed her buttock.
Cuomo later sent her an email, apologizing for his actions, she said.
Ross added that she did not believe his actions were ‘sexual in nature’ but rather a ‘form of sexual harassment’ where he attempted to ‘diminish and belittle his female former boss.’
‘I never thought that Mr. Cuomo’s behavior was sexual in nature,’ she wrote.
‘Whether he understood it at the time or not, his form of sexual harassment was a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle his female former boss in front of the staff.’
The CNN anchor has not denied the allegations, telling the Times on Thursday ‘it happened 16 years ago’ and ‘was not sexual in nature.’
‘As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public setting when she was a top executive at ABC,’ he said.
‘I apologized to her then, and I meant it.’
As of Friday afternoon, CNN has not commented on the allegations against Cuomo.
David Simone, Shelley Ross and Ryan Silverman in 2014. Ross said the incident happened in front of her husband Simone
At the time of the alleged incident, Ross had recently moved jobs from executive producer at ABC’s ‘Primetime Live’ – where Cuomo was an anchor – to becoming the executive producer of an ABC entertainment special.
Ross said Cuomo explained his actions away on the night as being okay because she was ‘no longer my boss.’
‘I was at the party with my husband, who sat behind me on an ottoman sipping his Diet Coke as I spoke with work friends,’ she wrote in the op ed.
‘When Mr. Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar, he walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock.’
Cuomo told her ‘I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’ she claimed, adding that it was said ‘with a kind of cocky arrogance’.
Ross said she pushed Cuomo away from her, with her husband witnessing what had happened.
”No you can’t,’ I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left,’ she wrote.
Ross said she received an email from Cuomo one hour later telling her she was ‘ashamed’ of his behavior.
The email, dated June 1 2005, first apologized to Ross’s ‘very good and noble husband’ for having to witness his wife ‘patted as such’ – and apologized to her second.
‘Now that I think of it… I am ashamed,’ read the subject line of the email.
‘though my hearty greeting was a function of being glad to see you…,’ the email began.
Cuomo then went on to compare his actions to that of Hollywood actor Christian Slater, who one month earlier had been arrested for allegedly randomly grabbing a woman’s buttocks while she was walking through a street in Manhattan, New York City.
Slater was charged with third degree sexual abuse but the charges were later dropped.
‘Christian Slater got arrested for a (kind of) similar act (though borne of an alleged negative intent, unlike my own)…and as a husband i can empathize with not liking to see my wife patted as such…,’ the email read.
‘so pass along my apology to your very good and noble husband…and i apologize to you as well, for even putting you in such a position…
He closed out the email with: ‘next time, i will remember the lesson, no matter how happy i am to see you…’
In her op ed, Ross said she questioned whether Cuomo was ‘ashamed’ of ‘what he did, or was he embarrassed because my husband saw it?’
She added: ‘Mr. Cuomo may say this is a sincere apology. I’ve always seen it as an attempt to provide himself with legal and moral coverage to evade accountability.’