Cuomo issues statement: “I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm”

Updated: Feb. 28, 2021 at 8:52 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) -Late Sunday afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement responding to claims he sexually harassed women who had worked in his administration.

In the statement, Cuomo says he understands some of his past conversations may have been misinterpreted, though he “never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm.”

Cuomo acknowledges he has made playful jokes, and apologized if it was misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.

He also stood firm, saying he never inappropriately touched anyone or asked them for sex.

This comes as Attorney General Letitia James has asked Cuomo to sign an executive order giving her control to conduct an investigation into his alleged behavior.

Below is the full statement released by Governor Cuomo’s office:

“Questions have been raised about some of my past interactions with people in the office.

“I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends.

“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way. I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.

“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.

“To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to.

“That’s why I have asked for an outside, independent review that looks at these allegations.

“Separately, my office has heard anecdotally that some people have reached out to Ms. Bennett to express displeasure about her coming forward. My message to anyone doing that is you have misjudged what matters to me and my administration and you should stop now - period.”

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