Who is Charlotte Bennett?
Charlotte Bennett is widely known as one of the two women who have accused Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of s*xual harassment. Bennett grew up in Westchester County and said that she initially saw Cuomo as a ‘father figure’ telling him how she was about the same age as Cuomo’s eldest daughter.
Ms. Bennett worked as an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Governor’s administration until she left the post in November 2020. Bennett now works as director of operations at Primary Maternity Care, according to her LinkedIn page.
She was hired by the administration in early 2019, working out of the governor’s Manhattan office as a briefer, an entry-level position. She had graduated from Hamilton College in 2017, where she was active in women’s issues and founded a s*xual misconduct task force.
How old is Charlotte Bennett?
Charlotte Bennett, who is a former aide to Cuomo, is 25 years old as of the year 2021.
Charlotte Bennett Cuomo
Charlotte Bennett publicly revealed to The New York Times that she was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she left in November. She also claimed that Cuomo had harassed her late last spring, during the height of the state’s fight against the coronavirus.
She says that it all started on June 5, when she was alone with Mr. Cuomo in his State Capitol office. In a series of interviews this week, she said the governor had asked her numerous questions about her personal life, including whether she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships
She had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s — comments she interpreted as clear overtures to a s*xual relationship.
Mr. Cuomo said in a statement to The Times on Saturday that he believed he had been acting as a mentor and had “never made advances toward Ms. Bennett, nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate.” He has asked that New Yorkers await the findings “before making any judgments.”
Ms. Bennett said that during the June encounter, the 63-year-old governor also complained to her about being lonely during the pandemic, mentioning that he “can’t even hug anyone,” before turning the focus to Ms. Bennett. She said that Mr. Cuomo asked her, “Who did I last hug?”
However, Mr. Cuomo never tried to touch her, Ms. Bennett said, but the message of the entire episode was unmistakable to her.
“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Ms. Bennett said.
“And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job”, she continued.
Ms. Bennett said she had disclosed the interaction with Mr. Cuomo to his chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, less than a week later and was transferred to another job, as a health policy adviser, with an office on the opposite side of the Capitol, soon after that. Ms. Bennett said she ultimately decided not to insist on an investigation because she was happy in her new job and “wanted to move on.
In his statement, Mr. Cuomo called Ms. Bennett a “hard-working and valued member” of his staff with “every right to speak out.” He said that Ms. Bennett had spoken to him about being a s*xual assault survivor — an experience about which she had been open in the past — and he had tried to be supportive and helpful. “The last thing I would ever have wanted was to make her feel any of the things that are being reported,” the governor said.
In fact, the governor did not deny that he asked Ms. Bennett personal questions.
Lindsey Boylan Cuomo
Charlotte Bennett’s account follows another detailed accusation published on Wednesday by Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development official who said that Mr. Cuomo had harassed her on several occasions from 2016 to 2018, at one point giving her an unsolicited kiss on the lips at his Manhattan office.
Mr. Cuomo’s office has called Ms. Boylan’s accusations untrue, but they have nonetheless prompted calls for investigations into her claims. After seeing Ms. Boylan detail her accusations against Mr. Cuomo, Ms. Bennett shared Ms. Boylan’s account on Twitter, suggesting that people read it if they wanted a true picture of “what it’s like to work for the Cuomo” administration.
The Times contacted Ms. Bennett, and she agreed to relate her own account of harassment.
Lindsey Boylan Photos, Messages
Ms. Bennett said she had told her parents and friends about the exchange with the governor around the time that it happened, as well as about her growing discomfort with having to work closely with him, and had kept text messages from that period.
The Times reviewed the messages and confirmed their contents with those who received them. Ms. Bennett also retained text messages from Ms. DesRosiers and Ms. Mogul that alluded to their meetings in June but did not mention the subject matter.
Lindsey Boylan New York
By mid-2019, Ms. Charlotte Bennett had been promoted to senior briefer and executive assistant after an interview with Mr. Cuomo. The two became friendly, she said, and they bonded over shared connections with Westchester County. At the time, Ms. Bennett was living with her parents in a neighboring hamlet.
She mentioned to Mr. Cuomo that she had played middle-school soccer against one of his daughters, who are also in their mid-20s.
On May 15, she said she arrived at the Capitol around 7 a.m. to find Mr. Cuomo already at work. Ms. Bennett was there to drop off some briefing papers, but Mr. Cuomo was chatty, asking about her love life and, in a gossipy way, whether she was involved with other members of the governor’s staff.
She memorialized the exchange in several texts to another Cuomo staff member that The Times reviewed.
Ms. Bennett said she had mentioned a speech she was scheduled to give to Hamilton students about her experience as a survivor of s*xual assault. She said she had been taken aback by Mr. Cuomo’s seeming fixation on that element of her life experience.
“The way he was repeating, ‘You were r*ped and abused and attacked and assaulted and betrayed,’ over and over again while looking me directly in the eyes was something out of a horror movie,” she wrote in a second text to her friend. “It was like he was testing me.”
In retrospect, Ms. Bennett said, she viewed the May 15 meeting as “was the turning point in our relationship.”
But, Ms. Bennett said, the governor also started to ask questions about her personal life, including whether she was romantically involved, whether she was monogamous in her relationships and whether she had ever had s*x with older men.
When her friend asked whether Mr. Cuomo had done anything physical to Ms. Bennett, she responded: “No but it was like the most explicit it could be.”