Some of the most disturbing allegations from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into Andrew Cuomo’s alleged sexual misconduct came from an anonymous assistant working for the governor, who detailed multiple occasions when she says Cuomo groped her. “Executive Assistant #1,” as she’s referred to in James’ report, identified herself on Monday as Brittany Commisso, sitting down for a CBS This Morning interview to describe her experience with Governor Cuomo.
“These were not hugs that he would give his mother or his brother,” Commisso said of instances when Cuomo hugged her, which led to attempts to kiss her against her will. “These were hugs with the intent of getting some sexual satisfaction.”
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In James’ report, which was released last Tuesday and led to a wave of calls for Cuomo to resign, “Executive Assistant #1″ described an incident last November in which Cuomo pulled her in for a hug, slid his hand up her blouse, and “cupped” her breast over her bra, as well as an incident in December 2019 when Cuomo “moved his hand to grab her butt cheek and began to rub it” while the two were taking a selfie.”
Commisso, 32, painted a vivid account of both incidents on Monday. “I felt while taking the selfie his hand go down my back and onto my butt,” she said of the latter incident. “He started rubbing it. Not sliding it. Not quickly brushing over it. Rubbing my butt. … I became so nervous that my hands were clearly shaking and a lot of the photos I was snapping were completely blurry. I showed him them and he said, ‘Those aren’t good, why don’t we go sit on the couch and we can take a better one?’”
She went on to describe the time Cuomo groped her breast in November 2020:
“He gets up, he goes to give me a hug, and I could tell immediately when he hugged me it was in the most sexually aggressive manner of any of the hugs he had given me. It was then that I said, ‘Governor, you’re going to get us in trouble.’ I thought to myself that probably wasn’t the best thing to say, but at that time I was so afraid that one of the mansion staff was going to come up and see this and think, ‘Is that what she comes here for?’ That’s not what I came there for and that’s not who I am. I was terrified of that. When I said that, he walked over and shut the door so hard … came back to me, and that’s when he put his hand up my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra. I exactly remember looking down, seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, ‘Oh my god. This is happening.’ It happened so quick. He didn’t say anything. When I stopped it, he just pulled away and walked away.”
Cuomo has repeatedly denied all accusations of sexual misconduct. “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” he said last Tuesday following the release of the attorney general’s report.
Commisso didn’t say anything until Cuomo said in a March 3rd press conference that he had never touched anyone inappropriately. “I didn’t say anything this whole time,” she said. “People don’t understand that this is the governor of the state of New York. There are troopers outside of the mansion. They are not there to protect me. They are there to protect him. I felt as though if I did something to insult him in his own home, it wasn’t going to be him who was going to get fired or in trouble.”
“To me, this was a dream job,” Commisso said. “Unfortunately, it turned into a nightmare.”
Commisso’s appearance on CBS This Morning comes days after she filed a criminal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s Department. Prosecutors in Albany, Manhattan, and Westchester Counties have already said they are requesting evidence from Attorney General James’ investigation as they look to launch their own investigations into Cuomo’s alleged misconduct. Cuomo is also staring down impeachment as the state Assembly wraps up its own investigation and decides whether to vote to remove the governor from office, which now seems likely.
“It was the right thing to do,” Commisso said in explaining why she filed the criminal complaint. “The governor needs to be held accountable. … What he did to me was a crime. He broke the law.”
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