Woman accuses Cuomo of touching her cheeks and wanting to kiss her at wedding


New York Times reported another accusation Monday against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo by a woman who detailed an inappropriate conversation with Cuomo at her friends’ wedding in September 2019 in New York City.

The newspaper reported Anna Ruch, who had not met Cuomo before the wedding reception, said in an interview that Cuomo toasted the newlyweds, then roamed the room, shaking hands and chit-chatting with guests.

Ruch, 33, a former Obama administration and Biden 2020 campaign member, told the Times she thanked him for the toast to her friends. Cuomo then put his hand on her lower back, she said in an interview on Monday, and Cuomo remarked she seemed “aggressive,” placed his hands on her cheeks, and asked if he could kiss her, loud enough for her friend to hear the comment.

Quoting directly from the New York Times: “I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” said Ms. Ruch, whose recollection was corroborated by the friend, contemporaneous text messages and photographs from the event. “I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment.”

Ruch’s accusation comes on the heels of reports from two former female aides, who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment in the workplace. Those reports prompted calls for an independent investigation, even from usually overly supportive Democrats, and demands for his resignation from Republicans.

New York Attorney General Letitia Jones has been empowered to name an independent counsel to investigate the harrassment charges. Jones posted Monday on her website: “Today, the executive chamber transmitted a referral letter to our office, providing us the authority to move forward with an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment claims made against Governor Cuomo. This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously. As the letter states, at the close of the review, the findings will be disclosed in a public report.”

Interestingly, on the exact date of New York’s first confirmed coronavirus case, Cuomo said nothing — no daily in-person update on the status of the pandemic.

Others were not silent, even as Cuomo avoided the daily public briefing. Lindsey Boylan, one of Cuomo’s three accusers, Tweeted: “It makes me feel sick. I feel nauseous thinking about Anna’s experience.”