Andrew Cuomo, who has served as the governor of New York since 2011, announced on Tuesday that he will resign in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him.
Cuomo’s resignation will take effect Tuesday, Aug. 24, at which point he’ll be replaced by Kathy Hochul, the state’s current lieutenant governor. She will be New York’s first female governor.
Beginning in December 2020, multiple women — including several of Gov. Cuomo’s current and former aides — came forward to accuse him of behavior including sexual harassment, sexism and the creation of a toxic work environment, all of which the governor denied at the time. New York Attorney General Letitia James opened a formal investigation into the allegations in February, and on Aug. 3, James stated the findings of the probe, confirming that Gov. Cuomo was found to have kissed, groped or made suggestive comments to 11 women.
In a televised briefing on Tuesday, before he announced his plans to step down, Cuomo apologized to any women he may have offended, but insisted that his actions — including kissing acquaintances on the cheek or making suggestive remarks that he reiterated were meant jokingly — were never intended to be harmful.
“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn,” Cuomo said. Later in the briefing, he also addressed his three daughters — Cara, Mariah and Michaela — and remarked, “I want them to know from the bottom of my heart that I never did, and I never would, intentionally disrespect a woman… Your dad makes mistakes, and he apologized, and he learned from it, and that’s what life is all about.”
Cuomo concluded by reflecting on his time as governor, including New York’s significant struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, adding that “it was an honor to lead” during that harrowing time.
Watch Cuomo’s full remarks via the video embedded above.