NEW YORK (AP) — A onetime aide to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who accused him of sexual harassment in a federal lawsuit filed a separate lawsuit Wednesday against the state.
Charlotte Bennett filed a complaint in state court in Manhattan saying her former employer, the state of New York, is liable for Cuomo’s sexual harassment and for the actions of his top aides, who failed to take corrective action once she reported it.
Bennett already filed a federal lawsuit in September against Cuomo and three top aides. In both suits, she says she was sexually harassed and retaliated against.
Bennett, who turned 25 when she worked for Cuomo, claims he subjected her to invasive questions about her personal life and sexual relationships. He once told her he was “lonely” and wanted a girlfriend who lived in Albany, according to the state lawsuit.
Cuomo has denied the allegations.
When Bennett reported the harassment, top aides to the governor transferred her to a lesser job in health policy instead of taking appropriate measures, she said. She eventually resigned, according to the suit.
“She experienced near-debilitating anxiety, symptoms of depression, and began suffering from a chronic neurological disorder as a direct result of Governor Cuomo’s sexual harassment of her and the hasty and disorganized transfer of her to the health policy team,” according to the complaint filed Wednesday.
An email seeking comment was sent to the attorney general's office, which defends the state against lawsuits.
In February 2021, Bennett became the second woman to come forward with accusations against Cuomo, playing a critical role in his downfall.
Cuomo resigned that August after the attorney general released the results of an investigation t hat concluded Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women, including Bennett.
Cuomo has denied those allegations and criticized the attorney general’s report.