Disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has now been accused of being involved in writing a letter that was passed around to former staffers with the intention of damaging Lyndsey Boylan’s reputation after she accused the governor of sexual harassment and unwanted advances.
In the letter, it is suggested that Boylan’s accusations were “premeditated” and “politically motivated.” It allegedly revealed personnel complaints filed against her and attempted to make a connection between Boylan and supporters of former President Donald Trump.
“Weaponizing a claim of sexual harassment for personal political gain or to achieve notoriety cannot be tolerated,” the letter stated. “False claims demean the veracity of credible claims.”
The initial idea, three sources told the Times, was to have former Cuomo aides, particularly women, sign the letter before releasing it more publicly. One of those sources said Cuomo was directly involved with the letter itself.
Current aides emailed a draft of the letter to former advisers before it was circulated more widely to current and former top aides of the governor. The letter was never publicly released.
Boylan, 36, a former aide to Cuomo, was the first of more than a half dozen accusers to go public, writing an essay on the website Medium last month in which she quoted Cuomo as saying to her, “Let’s play strip poker,” and kissing her without consent. Boylan is running as a candidate to be borough president of Manhattan in New York City.
Boylan’s attorney, Jill Basinger, accused Cuomo of using “malicious” tactics against her client.
“Once again, a victim of sexual harassment who has the courage to tell her story is put in the position of not only having to relive the trauma of a toxic work environment but defend herself against the malicious leaking of supposed personnel files, character assassinations and a whisper campaign of retaliation,” Basinger told the Times. “This page needs to be ripped out of the governor’s harassment handbook.”
Senior Cuomo adviser Rich Azzopardi told the newspaper that the administration had no comment on the letter, noting the ongoing investigations into allegations against the governor.