Andrew Cuomo appeared to suffer from sudden memory loss when grilled about the sexual misconduct claims levied at him — answering “I don’t recall,” “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know” more than 200 times during his deposition.
The disgraced ex-governor’s amnesiac moments struck throughout his 11-hour interview on July 17 with outside lawyers tapped by state Attorney Letitia James to probe the allegations.
“I don’t have any recollection purposefully touching a woman on the butt,” Cuomo said at one point, according to a 515-page transcript released by James on Wednesday.
That comment was in response to investigators asking Cuomo — who is known to have a memory like a steel trap — whether he had ever touched the backsides of two senior female staffers.
“I have no recollection of touching a woman on her butt. May it have happened accidentally? Incidentally? Yes. But I don’t have any recollection of purposefully touching a woman on the butt,” Cuomo, 63, said when pushed on his evasive reply.
“May I have given a man a pat on the butt? I don’t remember that either,” he said, “but that may have happened.”
The former gov was also at a loss about whether he’d kissed one of the two unnamed staffers, saying: “I don’t remember but I’m not going to rule out that I’ve ever kissed someone — a peck on the lips.”
When asked if female employees had ever sat on his lap, Cuomo claimed, “I don’t remember anyone in particular.”
He didn’t have the foggiest notion about what years he did or didn’t take mandated sexual harassment training, either.
Many of the senior moments came when Cuomo was quizzed about specific remarks, interactions or other details of claims leveled by onetime staffers. For instance:
- Asked if he remembered embracing former aide Karen Hinton at a Los Angeles hotel in 2000, Cuomo said: “I don’t remember hugging her 20 years ago.”
- Cuomo replied “Don’t remember” when questioned about allegedly kissing ex-staffer Brittany Commisso on the lips — and said “I don’t recall doing it but I’m sure I did it,” after being asked if he ever planted a smooch on her cheek.
- “I don’t remember saying it but it sounds funny,” Cuomo quipped when asked if he recalled telling former aide Charlotte Bennett she looked like the alien in the “Predator” film franchise.
- He also said he didn’t remember talking to Bennett about monogamy, or commenting on her hair.
Cuomo appeared to be at a loss numerous times during questioning about Lindsey Boylan, who was the first ex-staffer to come forward last year with sexual harassment allegations.
- Regarding his senior aides’ attempts to discredit Boylan by releasing her confidential personal files to the media, Cuomo claimed: “I don’t remember being part of that conversation.”
- Cuomo didn’t remember saying Boylan looked “lovely” — but, “I wouldn’t be shocked if I made that comment.”
- Neither did he have any memory of speaking with Economic Development Director Howard Zemsky or “anybody else” about Boylan’s physical appearance.
- “I don’t remember ever making any comments about her appearance to anyone,” he claimed.
Some of the other mental lapses were over alleged sleazy comments or raunchy jokes, including how he apparently quipped to a pregnant woman that he was “not the father.”
“I don’t recall saying that,” Cuomo said.
He also drew a blank when asked about the claim he told a female state trooper assigned to his personal detail that “marriage results in decline in your sex drive.”
“I don’t remember what marriage jokes I made,” Cuomo said.
Other alleged incidents Cuomo apparently forgot included: Whether he’d touched that same trooper’s stomach area, ever kissed her cheek, offered her a tour of the governor’s mansion or invited her “upstairs” to his residence.
A question about whether he had spoken to the trooper about her clothing elicited a “not that I recall.”
He used the same phrase when asked if he’s ever commented on Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo’s looks to anyone — before quoting his father, the late Gov. Mario Cuomo.
“Not that I recall,” Cuomo told investigators, “Except to quote my father who said, ‘She had a face like Sophia Loren.’”