A third woman says Gov. Cuomo made unwanted advances towards her

A third woman has said that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made unwanted advances towards her.

Anna Ruch told The New York Times that in September 2019, she met Cuomo at a wedding. The governor allegedly placed a hand on her bare lower back and called her ‘aggressive’ when she removed it. Ruch said Cuomo then placed his hands on her face and asked if he could kiss her. 

“I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed,” Ruch told the Times.

Cuomo’s office did not reply to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication.

The Times said a friend of Ruch who heard the exchange corroborated the story. Contemporaneous text messages and photographs from the event also corroborated Ruch’s account. 

Two former staffers have also accused Cuomo of unwanted sexual advances. 

On Friday, Lindsey Boylan, a former staffer, alleged that starting in 2016, Cuomo made unwanted sexual advances toward her. In a Medium blog post, Boylan said she resigned in 2018 after the governor kissed her on the lips without her consent. 

On Saturday, another former staffer, Charlotte Bennett, said that Cuomo asked her inappropriate questions and also made unwanted sexual advances toward her

Cuomo has denied both of the allegations. In a statement released on Sunday, Cuomo said his behavior towards women had been “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation.”

“To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” he said, adding that he never inappropriately touched or propositioned anyone but “teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married.”

Cuomo on Sunday also agreed to have New York Attorney General Letitia James control an independent investigation into the allegations. The decision came after state and federal lawmakers criticized a previous plan to also have Janet DiFiore, the chief judge on the highest court in New York work, with James to “jointly select an independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation to conduct a thorough review of the matter and issue a public report.”

DiFiore had ties to a longtime Cuomo ally and he had also nominated her to her current role.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at salarshani@insider.com   

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