New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo once had a female staffer do pushups for him in his office, and later invited her to lift weights at the Executive Mansion gym, according to the blockbuster report on sexual harassment allegations against him released Tuesday.
Then-aide Charlotte Bennett did 20 pushups inside the governor’s office in October 2019, later texting her parents, “I just kept going until he told me to stop and didn’t slow down,” copies of text messages included in the stunning report reveal.
“He said ok stop stop . . . and he was like ok I’m intimidated. Not many women can do
pushups like that. Actually, not many MEN can do pushups like that,” Bennett, 25, wrote in the texts.
The two began discussing Bennett’s workout habits that summer and Cuomo, 63, would occasionally ask how many pushups she could do, according to the report.
That August, she told her parents in a text that the governor had invited her to “lift [weights] together in his mansion gym” and that he “started asking what I lift, etc. how many pushups I can do.”
She also posted on her Instagram story: “The governor invited me to lift weights with him. Life complete. He challenged me to a push-up competition,” the report states.
Bennett wrote to her parents that Cuomo had asked her “‘do you have a bf [boyfriend]’ and when she replied no, the Governor replied, ‘[T]hat’s why. [Y]ou could beat them all up.’”
Cuomo was also recorded crooning several lines of the 1960s love song “Do You Love Me?” by the Contours to Bennett during a 2019 phone call.
Bennett also told investigators that Cuomo once told her “that he wanted to get on a
motorcycle [and] take a woman into the mountains.’”
The exchanges are among the evidence contained in a blistering 165-page report that state Attorney General Letitia James released Tuesday.
The report concludes that Cuomo sexually harassed several women in violation of state and federal law.
The governor acknowledged making people feel “uncomfortable” but has denied touching anyone “inappropriately” or engaging in other misconduct.