Time’s Up Now, a charity organisation for the welfare of the victims of sexual harassment, says on its website that it “fights for a future where no one is harassed, assaulted, or discriminated against at work”. But that does not seem to be its stand in the high-profile sexual harassment case against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The duplicity of the self-avowed feminist group stood exposed after it was revealed that the organisation had advised Andrew Cuomo to discredit the victims by sending a letter rebutting their accusations.
According to New York Attorney General Letitia James’s report, two co-founders of the women’s advocacy group Time’s Up allegedly helped New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office draft a letter seeking to disprove the allegations from one of his sexual harassment accusers.
Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund founder Roberta Kaplan and Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen reportedly helped Cuomo’s staff in drafting a letter denying allegations made against the governor by her former aide Lyndsey Boylan. It is also worth noting that Tina Tchen, the head of the Time’s Up group worked as a former aide to ex-US president Barack Obama.
In her 165-page report that was released on Tuesday this week, James said a group of advisors for Cuomo last December, sought to draft a letter to deny the legitimacy of Ms Boylan’s allegations, call into question her credibility, and accuse her claims of being politically motivated.
“The letter denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan’s allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated (including with theories about connections with supporters of President Trump and a politician with an alleged interest in running for Governor),” the report said.
The letter was initially intended to be sent to former colleagues of Boylan and Cuomo for them to sign, and later published as an op-ed. But Melissa DeRosa, one of the top aides of Andrew Cuomo, had apprehensions about the letter, worrying that it would ‘backfire’. So Cuomo reportedly asked her to reach out to Roberta Kaplan.
As per Ms DeRosa’s testimony, Ms Kaplan read the letter to the head of the feminist group Times Up, Tina Tchen, and both of them thought the letter was fine with some minor changes.
Essentially, the so-called feminist group was working in cahoots with a sexual predator, providing him with advice and legal counsel to scrub clean his tainted image and discredit the victims who had levelled allegations of sexual harassment against him.
Times Up takes a u-turn after NY AG report revealed that its co-founders had helped Cuomo in discrediting his victims
Hours after New York Attorney General’s damning report was made public, bringing to fore the involvement of two of the co-founders of the women’s advocacy group Times Up in helping Cuomo in drafting a letter that would discredit one of the alleged victims of sexual harassment, the feminist organisation made a stunning volte-face and went into a damage-control mode. It released a statement lauding the 11 women for their courage and sacrifice of coming out against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. It also called for Cuomo to immediately tender his resignation.
“We acknowledge and deeply respect the courage and sacrifice of the 11 women who came forward to share their experiences of harassment and the retaliation they endured. Demanding accountability and justice from someone in power is never easy and it comes at great risk but, by boldly coming forward, these women have given others the courage to do the same,” the statement read.
With the report incriminating Cuomo for sexual harassment, the feminist group quickly pivoted and distanced itself from the tainted Governor. Instead, it went to slam the governor, accusing him of harbouring a toxic and hostile work environment and asking for his removal from the post of governor.
“The findings of the investigation further cement the fact that the powerful can no longer hide behind their influence and threats when people they’ve harmed are demanding accountability and justice. The independent investigation, which included 74,000 pieces of evidence and 179 witnesses, found that Governor Cuomo violated both federal and state laws and that a toxic and hostile work environment existed,” the statement read.
It further said,” He has failed to protect the women who worked in New York State government and therefore shouldn’t be permitted to govern. We applaud Attorney General James for the thoroughness of her investigation and, now that it’s over, we’re calling on Governor Cuomo to resign immediately. It’s imperative that he face the consequences of his actions and be held to account by the State Assembly and law enforcement authorities in New York.”
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo harassed multiple women: State AG Letitia James
Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, state attorney general Letitia James said on Tuesday. The comments were made on the basis of an investigation that was conducted after allegations surfaced against the Governor last year.
The investigation concluded that his administration was a “hostile work environment”, “rife with fear and intimidation.” Two outside lawyers were roped in for the investigation. Andrew Cuomo is the brother of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, often called ‘Fredo’ by his critics.
Letitia James said at a press conference that Andrew Cuomo “sexually harassed multiple women, and in doing so violated federal and state law.” According to James, the report presents “a deeply disturbing, yet clear, picture” in a “toxic workplace.”
In addition to state government employees, Cuomo also harassed women outside of it. On at least one occasion, he and his associates attempted to retaliate against one woman who accused him of misconduct.