A fifth woman has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Ana Liss, one of Cuomo’s former aides, detailed the allegations to the The Wall Street Journal in an article published Saturday evening.
Liss accused the governor of calling her sweetheart, touching her lower back during an event, kissing her hand once when she got up from her desk, and inquiring about her relationship status, according to the WSJ.
“It’s not appropriate, really, in any setting,” Liss told the WSJ, adding that she ended up feeling like “just a skirt.”
Cuomo’s office dismissed the latest allegations in a statement to the WSJ, with senior advisor Rich Azzopardi suggesting the behavior described is normal for politicians and was always conducted in public.
“Reporters and photographers have covered the governor for 14 years watching him kiss men and women and posing for pictures,” Azzopardi told the WSJ in a statement. “At the public open-house mansion reception, there are hundreds of people, and he poses for hundreds of pictures. That’s what people in politics do.”
Liss did not file a formal complaint and eventually requested to be transferred to a different office, the WSJ reported. The former aide also said her experience with Cuomo caused her to drink heavily and seek mental health counseling, the publication reported.
“I just wish—I wish that he took me seriously,” Liss said, noting that she was proud of the work she had been doing and still backs Cuomo’s policies.
Liss, 35, worked for the governor as a policy and operations aide from 2013 to 2015. She joins multiple other women who have brought allegations against Cuomo, beginning with former aide Lindsey Boylan, according to Newsweek.
“Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected,” Boylan wrote in a Medium article published Feb. 24.
Cuomo apologized Feb. 28 to those who may have “misinterpreted” his actions “as an unwanted flirtation.” He added that given his high position, he’s learned that some of his actions “may have been insensitive or too personal.”
The governor followed up this statement with more comments on March 3 amid growing accusations and suggested he would “learn from” the situation. Cuomo added that he is “embarrassed” by the accusations, but denied touching “anyone inappropriately.”
“I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it,” Cuomo said during that public appearance.
The governor is facing growing calls to resign, but not just because of these allegations. He’s also been tied up in the New York nursing home scandal after his mandate forced facilities to accept patients who had previously tested positive for COVID-19.
Cuomo’s top advisors reportedly convinced state health officials to alter the actual number of nursing home deaths due to COVID-19, The New York Times and the WSJ recently reported. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: New York Admits Knowingly Undercounting Nursing Home Deaths After Quietly Changing Reporting Rules)