Former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was accused of throwing fruit at his staff by a former staffer, according to a report from Politico on Monday.
Cuomo, who resigned in August amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations, allegedly threw dried apricots at his spokesman Rich Azzopardi and another unidentified man referred to as ‘Staffer #6′ when he found out they submitted an old headshot of his to NY1, according to testimony from Democratic New York Attorney General Leticia James’ report published by Politico.
— Michael Kink (@mkink) November 30, 2021
“He told me to get Rich Azzopardi into the office, and I brought Rich Azzopardi into the office and he yelled at him for not replacing the head shot and then threw a bag of fruit at us and told us to get out,” said the former staffer in his testimony.
“It was a regular sized bag of dried apricots that were probably half eaten,” added the staffer.
There were no drive by fruitings. https://t.co/0yXGgWFn5t
— Rich Azzopardi (@RichAzzopardi) August 13, 2021
Azzopardi previously denied this accusation, writing in a tweet, “There were no drive by fruitings.”
The report also contained various text conversations and interviews between Cuomo’s staffers, who exchanged ideas on how they could successfully discredit the women that accused Cuomo of sexual harassment such as Lindsey Boylan. (RELATED: Chris Cuomo Used His Media Contacts To Help Track Down Leads On Sexual Assault Allegations Against His Brother, Documents Show)
“I feel like we didn’t go hard enough,” wrote former Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa to consultant Lis Smith, in response to Smith suggesting Cuomo came out too hard against his accusers.
Smith later mocked Boylan for retaining the same counsel as Christine Blasey Ford, who publicly accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his confirmation hearings in 2018.
“Christine Blasey Ford was looney tunes and the height of me too overreach so this checks out,” wrote Smith.
DeRosa also suggested tying Boylan’s plans to run for Manhattan Borough President to her accusation in a press release draft.
“Please don’t send this please please please,” responded Cuomo aide Josh Vlasto.
Another text from SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras, a former policy adviser to Cuomo, was much more explicit regarding Boylan’s accusation of sexual harassment against Cuomo.
“Malatras to Boylan: Go f— yourself,” wrote Malatras in a text to Cuomo’s staff.
There was also a discussion about leaking Boylan’s confidential personnel file to the press.
“When do we release the nuclear crazy file? I’m ready to testify,” wrote Cuomo aide Stephanie Benton.
Boylan’s personnel file was leaked shortly after she accused the Governor of sexual harassment in December 2020, nine months prior to Cuomo’s August 2021 resignation.
Cuomo has previously denied all allegations of sexual harassment made against him.