Former Albany reporter is 7th woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment

Former Albany reporter is 7th woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a vaccination site on Monday, March 8, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool) (Source: AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - A former statehouse reporter, working for what’s now Politico New York, has penned an essay detailing Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s alleged sexual harassment toward her.

Jessica Blakeman described her experiences in a piece she wrote for New York Magazine Friday.

Blakeman, who was in her early-20s when she was covering the governor, wrote, “It’s not that Cuomo spares men in his orbit from his trademark bullying and demeaning behavior. But the way he bullies and demeans women is different. He uses touching and sexual innuendo to stoke fear in us. That is the textbook definition of sexual harassment.”

Blakeman wrote about how Cuomo made her feel uncomfortable at a holiday party the governor hosted for the Albany press corps.

She wrote that she had to leave the party early because there was a story she needed to cover. She had approached Cuomo, she says, to thank him for his hospitality, and offer well wishes for his father, Mario, who was dying at the time.

Blakeman wrote the governor took her hand, then wrapped his other arm around her back, telling a photographer he wanted a picture with her.

Blakeman wrote, “I was wrong to believe this experience would last for just a moment. Keeping his grip on me as I practically squirmed to get away from him, the governor turned my body to face a different direction for yet another picture. He never let go of my hand.”

Blakeman wrote the governor turned to her and said, " ‘I’m sorry. Am I making you uncomfortable? I thought we were going steady.’ "

The former Albany reporter says that was the most egregious time Cuomo sexually harassed her, but there were others, she claims.

Blakeman is the 7th woman to come forward with allegations of this nature.

The Attorney General is now investigating Cuomo’s behavior, and the Assembly Judiciary Committee is beginning an impeachment inquiry.

Last week, calls for Cuomo’s resignation grew, and now include top members of the Democratic party, including New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

On Friday, Cuomo reiterated that he’s not stepping down, and is waiting for the results of the investigations to determine the facts surrounding the allegations.

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