Andrew Cuomo sued for sexual harassment by former executive assistant Brittany Commisso
Brittany Commisso, who worked as Cuomo’s executive assistant from December 2017 until January 2022, filed the lawsuit under the Adult Survivors Act
November 25, 2023 9:10am
Updated: November 25, 2023 9:10am
An executive assistant who previously worked for former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who accused him of groping her filed a lawsuit against him for sexual harassment.
Brittany Commisso, who worked as Cuomo’s executive assistant from December 2017 until January 2022, filed the lawsuit under the Adult Survivors Act, which had expanded the time limit under which people could sue for sexual assault or harassment that had previously been beyond the statute of limitations. The window to sue expired at midnight Thursday.
According to a three-page summons filed by Commisso earlier this week, Cuomo subjected her to continuous harassment, including groping, making sexualized remarks about her appearance, and assigning her “humiliating and demeaning tasks.”
Cuomo ultimately resigned as governor in August 2021 following sexual misconduct allegations by Commisso and several other women.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied all of her allegations, many of which were chronicled in Commisso’s three page summons.
“The continuous sexual harassment by defendant Cuomo included unwelcome sexual advances, sexualized comments about appearance and personal matters, relations, their dating, their sex life, and her marriage, assignment of humiliating and demeaning tasks, hugs, kisses, sexual touching of the buttocks, and forcible touching of the breast all of which was objectively unreasonable and abusive and reasonably perceived by plaintiff as being abusive and an adverse alteration of the conditions and terms of employment she was required to suffer to maintain her employment and avoid adverse changes in the condition and terms of employment which, in fact, she later suffered in retaliation for rejecting and reporting the same,” the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit also claims that then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul demoted Commisso “from the position of Executive Assistant to the Governor, removed her from the Executive Chamber front office, and assigned her to the demeaning task of answering telephones in the Lieutenant Governor's office until moved to other offices, including loss of overtime, ostracism, given little or no work, demotion, and loss of career opportunities and Advancement” after the SUNY political science graduate allegedly rejected Cuomo’s advances.
Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, said in a statement on Friday that “Ms. Commisso's claims are provably false, which is why the Albany County District Attorney dismissed the case two years ago after a thorough investigation. Ms. Commisso's transparent attempt at a cash grab will fail. We look forward to seeing her in court.”
Commisso previously filed a misdemeanor criminal complaint against Cuomo, accusing him of “intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place[d] his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim and onto her intimate body part. Specifically, the victim's left breast for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires.”
The forcible touching charge was dismissed and Cuomo was never prosecuted.
Commisso, who is also a single mother, told “CBS Mornings” that she did not initially plan on going public with accusations against her former boss because she was worried about retaliation.
She changed her mind in March 2021 after Cuomo denied other sexual harassment allegations, and asserted that he “never touched anyone inappropriately.”
Commisso was one of 11 women whose charges were outlined in a report compiled by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Cuomo was temporarily considered a possible contender for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. Reports indicate that he declined to run after he was dissuaded by President Biden, but the former New York governor insisted in interviews he was not interested.