One employee testified that Cuomo kissed her and other employees on the lips
In addition to the newly released videos, more than a dozen new transcripts from Cuomo’s inner circle shed new light on the inner workings of the Executive Chamber. One of the published transcripts contained the testimony of Anabelle Walsh, who worked as Cuomo’s scheduler for eight years and was a member of his closest circle, known by Cuomo and others as “common girls”.
She told AG investigators that Cuomo occasionally kissed her on the lips and saw her do the same with others.
“He did it sometimes as a kind of goodbye to people,” Walsh told investigators, adding that Cuomo kissed her and she saw him kiss former governor’s secretary Melissa DeRosa and former executive secretary Stephanie Benton, among others the lips.
“What was the longest kiss with the governor?” Asked attorney Jennifer Kennedy-Park.
“I can’t say more than a second or two,” Walsh said.
“Okay. So you felt comfortable when the governor kisses you on the lips?”
“Yes. Yes,” Walsh replied.
Both Benton and DeRosa denied that they had ever been kissed on the lips by Cuomo during their interviews with investigators.
“Would you be surprised to learn that Governor kissed Annabel Walsh on the mouth frequently?
“Yes,” DeRosa said before cutting off the interview for today.
Shouting, nicknames, fruit thrown at employees
Testimony from other employees reveals a number of unflattering nicknames Cuomo had for up-and-coming talent like Sponge and Bun. Several described his angry tirades that would make employees cry. In one case, a worker said Cuomo threw a bag of fruit at her.
In the incident, an unnamed employee told AG investigators that Cuomo was angry with press secretary Richard Azzopardi for failing to swap an old headshot for a newer interview with Spectrum NY1. The unnamed employee said Cuomo called the two into his office.
“[Cuomo] yelled at him for not replacing the headshot, and then he threw a bag of fruit at us and asked us to get out, ”said the employee. “It was a full-size bag of dried apricots, probably half of which was eaten.”
When asked about the incident, Azzopardi denied knowing it.
“I think I would remember that. The answer is no, ”he said.
The alleged conduct extended beyond the Executive Chamber. Chris Cuomo, host of Cuomo Prime Time on CNN, told investigators that his brother had often ridiculed him for his effeminate behavior.
“You know that I’m emotional, I’m so emotional because it’s like being feminine in your tough world.”
“So you act like a girl. Is that the joke? ”Kennedy Park asked.
“Yes,” replied Chris Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo was consulted regularly by staff at the Executive Chamber as the scandals surrounding his brothers unfolded
Chris Cuomo also told Attorney General investigators that he did not recall giving advice to his brother when he was handling various sexual harassment allegations this spring. “I gave him no advice on what to do or not to do in a situation like this,” said the younger brother. However, documents released by the AG’s office indicated that he was in regular email and text contact with the Chamber’s staff and Secretary DeRosa as the scandals unfolded.
“Here’s what he should have said,” wrote Cuomo DeRosa on Jan.
DeRosa asked Chris Cuomo to “check” [his] Sources ”when she started hearing rumors from other prosecutors on March 3. She asked for his opinion on a series of statements the office sent out when further allegations surfaced.
“We make mistakes that we cannot afford,” wrote the former governor’s brother to DeRosa on March 10, asking her to trust him.
A CNN spokesman said the transcripts and documents “deserve a thorough review.”
“We will have talks in the next few days and seek additional clarity about its importance in relation to CNN,” said the spokesman.
Jen Chung and Emily Lang contributed the coverage.