“Questions have been raised about some of my past interactions with people in the office,” Cuomo began in a press release on Sunday. “I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends.”
“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good-natured way,” the governor explained. “I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.”
Cuomo continued, “I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”
The governor did, however, offer an explicit denial that he “touched anybody” and “never propositioned anybody,” which directly contradicts the claims made by his former aide Lindsey Boylan, who alleged he touched her and forcibly kissed her on the lips.
“I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to,” Cuomo stated. “That’s why I have asked for an outside, independent review that looks at these allegations.