New York governor Andrew Cuomo facing fresh allegations of sexual harassment

New York governor Andrew Cuomo, one of the nation's best-known Democratic politicians, has been accused by two former aides of engaging in a series of unwanted, sexually suggestive comments, and in one case an unsolicited kiss. A third woman also says he attempted to kiss her, and touched her inappropriately. 

The New York Attorney General Letitia James confirmed there will be an independent investigation into the accounts of the two aides Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett.

On Monday a third woman, Anna Ruch came forward in an interview published by the New York Times accusing the governor of inappropriate conduct at a September 2019 wedding reception.

As reported by the Times, Ruch recounted the governor first put his hand on her bare lower back, then when she brushed his hand away, called her "aggressive" and placed his hands on her cheeks and asked her if he could kiss her.

The moment was caught in a cellphone photo Ruch said was taken by a friend and published by the Times with the article.

US correspondent Kate Fisher told The AM Show the image had "a large impact".

"It's a very powerful image, she looks scared and concerned and he looks much bigger and taller with a lot more power in the situation."

The often outspoken governor has stayed mostly out of the public eye since the sexual harassment scandal started gaining traction last week. Cuomo rose to national prominence for his daily televised briefings last spring, when New York was the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States.

Fisher says he received praise for his COVID-19 response, and the allegations surfacing have caused a real "fall from grace".

"At the moment he remains in his job amid calls for him to step down."