NEW YORK — Lindsey Boylan, a former candidate for the Democratic ticket in New York’s 10th Congressional District, accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment in December. On Wednesday, she published an account of the alleged harassment online.
“We were flying home from an October 2017 event in Western New York on his taxpayer-funded jet,” the story begins. From there, Boylan fired off anecdotes about having her whereabouts tracked, physical comparisons to Cuomo’s ex-girlfriend, and offered to play strip poker. She said he showed off a box of cigars given to him by President Bill Clinton, touched her lower back, arms, and legs, and kissed her on the lips after a meeting, PIX11 sister station News10 reported.
Boylan detailed several apparently inappropriate interactions between herself and the governor, tweeting that she’s “sharing her story in the hopes that it may make it easier for others to speak their own truth.” She said she was originally inspired to discuss her experience while Cuomo’s name was being floated as a potential Attorney General pick in the Biden Administration. She also said that the recent stories of the bullying in the Cuomo Administration further emboldened her.
Today I am telling my story. I never planned to share the details of my experience working in the Cuomo administration, but I am doing so now in hopes that it may make it easier for others to speak their own truth. https://t.co/n1Lcc6Ac66— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) February 24, 2021
Boylan said her career was strained by the inappropriate treatment, which extended to other women in the government of New York. She also said her relationships with high-ranking officials—mostly women in his senior team—grew hostile when she spoke up for herself. “I was reprimanded and told to get in line by his top aides,” she said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected. His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.
“It was all so normalized—particularly by Melissa DeRosa and other top women around him—that only now do I realize how insidious his abuse was,” Boylan said.
Boylan, 36, is a former state economic development official and aide of Cuomo, and is currently running for Manhattan Borough President. She worked for the Cuomo administration for over three years, and first leveled public accusations against the governor in a December tweet:
It was then how I learned how hard it is for women. How hard this world can be for us when we are trying to be taken seriously and help our community. How easily jerks can destroy the lives of women.— Lindsey Boylan (@LindseyBoylan) December 13, 2020
The governor denied the allegations when they arose in December. “Look, I fought for and I believe that a woman has a right to come forward and express her opinion and express issues and concerns that she has, but it’s just not true.”
In response to the allegations, the governor’s press secretary, Caitlin Girouard, released a statement describing the claims of inappropriate behavior as “false” and that Boylan was not alone with Governor Cuomo, a press aide, and a State Trooper during any flight in October 2017. The release also included a link to the Governor’s flight manifests from October 2017.
The full statement can be seen below:
“As we said before, Ms. Boylan’s claims of inappropriate behavior are quite simply false.”
In Ms. Boylan’s latest blog post, she opens up with a story about a plane trip in October 2017 – the manifests of all flights from October 2017 can be found below – there was no flight where Lindsey was alone with the Governor, a single press aide, and a NYS Trooper. Below is a statement that can be attributed to John Maggiore, Howard Zemsky, Dani Lever and Abbey Fashouer Collins who were on all of these flights with her:
“We were on each of these October flights and this conversation did not happen.”