March 3, 2021 By Allie Griffin
In his first public appearance since multiple women accused him of sexual harassment, Governor Andrew Cuomo apologized for his behavior, but refused to resign from office as several Queens legislators have called for.
Cuomo issued the apology on Wednesday after two former staffers accused the governor of sexual harassment and a third woman accused him of unwanted touching at a 2019 wedding reception.
“I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this… I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable,” he said during a live press briefing. “It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it.”
Cuomo said he felt “awful” and “embarrassed” about the allegations as he choked up at times during his address.
“I never touched anyone inappropriately,” he said. “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable.”
Several Democratic lawmakers in New York — including multiple in Queens — have demanded that Cuomo resign in light of the sexual harassment allegations. State Sen. Jessica Ramos, Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer have all said that he should resign.
Cuomo rebuffed their demands at the press briefing and said that they were politicians “playing politics.”
“I was elected by the people of the state of New York, I’m not going to resign,” he said. “I work for the people of the state of New York.”
The State Attorney General Letitia James is investigating the allegations.
Cuomo said that he will fully cooperate with her investigation. He also asked New Yorkers to wait for the results of the investigation before forming an opinion.