[guest post by Dana]
I think we’ve hit double-digits now. Another Cuomo accuser alleges that the governor kissed her without consent in 2017 while touring her flood-damaged home:
“The whole thing was so strange and inappropriate and still makes me nervous and afraid because of his power and position,” said Sherry Vill, a 55-year-old married mother of three, as she spoke out in an afternoon briefing alongside lawyer Gloria Allred. “I am still afraid of him, but I am no longer willing to remain silent.”
Vill, whose house was among those damaged, invited Cuomo into her home and expressed dismay at its condition.
“That’s when the governor looked at me, approached me, took my hand and pulled me to him,” Vill said. “He leaned down over me and kissed my cheek. I was holding my small dog in my arms and I thought he was going to pet my dog. But instead he went to squeeze between the dog and mine and kiss me on the other cheek in what I felt was a highly sexual manner.”
According to Vill, Gov. Cuomo brushed off the accusations by saying it’s just what Italians do:
“He said, ‘That’s what Italians do, kiss both cheeks,’” recalled Vill.
“I felt shocked and didn’t understand what had just happened,” said Vill. “But I knew I felt embarrassed and weird about his kissing me. I am Italian, and in my family, family members kiss. Strangers do not kiss, especially upon meeting someone for the first time.”
Vill, who is being represented by Gloria Allred, also said that Cuomo told her she was “beautiful,” but didn’t stop there:
Cuomo again allegedly grabbed Vill’s face and kissed her on the cheek outside the home — in front of Vill’s son, who was recording the governor’s visit and caught an image of the contact, displayed at the virtual briefing.
“I felt like I was being manhandled, especially because he was holding my face and he was kissing my cheek again,” said Vill. “The way he looked at me and his body language made me very uncomfortable. I felt he was acting in a highly flirtatious and inappropriate manner, especially in front of my family and neighbors.”
According to reports, Allred and Vill have not reached out to Cuomo’s office about the allegations. Per Allred, they will be getting in touch with the attorney general’s office which is conducting an investigation into claims made against the governor. A lawsuit has not yet been filed.
Despite calls to resign by New York’s delegation to the House of Representatives, Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand, and Mayor Blasio, Cuomo is staying put – at least for now. That could very well have to do with the fact that he is still receiving enough support from state Democrats:
…nearly half of voters (49 percent) in New York say that he should not resign while 43 percent say he should resign, according to a Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh- pea-ack) University poll of registered voters in New York State. The poll was conducted from March 16th – 17th. In a March 4th survey, voters said 55 – 40 percent he should not resign.
Today, Democrats say 67 – 23 percent he should not resign, 49 percent of independents say Cuomo should not resign with 42 percent saying he should resign, and Republicans say 72 – 26 percent he should resign.
In a separate question, voters were asked about the positions elected officials have taken about whether or not Governor Cuomo should step down. Just over 1 in 5 voters (22 percent) say they agree more with elected officials calling on Governor Cuomo to resign immediately. About three-quarters of voters (74 percent) say they agree more with elected officials saying they will wait until the New York Attorney General’s independent investigation is completed before they decide whether or not to call for Governor Cuomo to resign.
If you’re keeping track, there are now three ongoing investigations into the Cuomo administration.