A third woman has come forward to accuse New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) of harassment.
In an interview with The New York Times on Monday, Anna Ruch, 33, said that she met Cuomo at a wedding reception in September 2019. She approached Cuomo to let him know she enjoyed the toast he made to the newlyweds, and Ruch said as they spoke, he placed his hand on her bare lower back. Ruch told the Times she removed his hand, and he responded by saying she seemed “aggressive.” He then placed his hands on her cheeks, Ruch said, and loudly asked if he could kiss her.
Ruch told the Times she pulled away, “confused and shocked and embarrassed. I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment.” Ruch said a friend witnessed the incident, and she shared with the Times a photo showing Cuomo’s hands on her face. “It’s the act of impunity that strikes me,” Ruch said. “I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I didn’t have a choice in his physical dominance over me at that moment. And that’s what infuriates me. And even with what I could do, removing his hand from my lower back, even doing that was not clear enough.”
Last week, two former Cuomo aides — Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett — accused him of sexual harassment. On Sunday night, Cuomo said in a statement that some of his remarks may have “been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.” An investigation into his behavior is in the early stages, with New York Attorney General Letitia James now working on selecting an outside investigator.