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NEW YORK (WABC) — A defiant Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke out after the release of the New York Attorney General’s findings were released on the sexual harassment claims against him.

“The facts are much different than what has been portrayed,” Cuomo said.


The governor added that there is a document on his website from his lawyer that explains his account.

“I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” Cuomo was clear to say. “I am 63 years old, I have lived my entire life in public view, that’s just not who I am or who I have ever been.”

Governor Cuomo said that of all the claims against him, Charlotte Bennett’s comment bothered him the most.

RELATED | Full details of 11 complaints against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to AG report

He said that they had spoken about her experience with a past sexual assault and he said that her story resonated “deeply” with him. He went on to describe that a family member of his is a sexual assault survivor from back in high school. “I would do anything to make it go away for her,” Cuomo said.

“I was trying to make sure she was working through it the best she could,” he said of his conversations with Bennett. “I thought I had learned enough and had enough personal experience to help her but I was wrong.”

The governor said that Bennett and her lawyer “read into comments that I made and draw inferences that I never meant. They heard things that I just didn’t say.”

The governor then offered an apology.

“I am truly and deeply sorry. I brought my personal experience into the workplace and I shouldn’t have done that.”

He also mentioned that there is another woman who wants anonymity, who is filing a claim against him for damages and says that will be decided by a court of law.

“I welcome the opportunity for a full and fair review before a judge and jury because this just didn’t happen,” he said referencing the Attorney General’s report.

The governor also recounted kissing a woman on the cheek at a wedding, “not front-page news.”

“I learned it from my mother, and I learned it from my father. It is meant to convey warmth, and nothing more,” Cuomo said. “I do it with everyone, black and white, young and old, straight, and LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street.”

He admitted that at times he has said “Ciao Bella” and has “slipped” and called people honey or sweetie.

Governor Cuomo said that there will be new sexual harassment training for his whole team, including himself.

“I accept responsibility and we are making changes,” he said.

Some claimed there is a culture of hostility and bullying in his office. Cuomo said, “My office is a demanding place to work and it’s not for everyone.”

He blamed the “super-heated political environment” for the claims and report against him.

“My father would say that politics is an ugly business, and as usual, he was right,” Cuomo said.

As for resignation, the governor did not even address it. Instead, he vowed, “I will not be distracted.”

RELATED: Renewed calls for Cuomo to resign following AG’s report


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