As New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces mounting sexual misconduct allegations from two female aides, a video has reemerged on social media showing the Democratic governor questionably pressuring a female reporter to eat an entire sausage sandwich in front of him.
The video shows the Democratic governor at the 2016 New York State Fair, challenging NewsChannel 9’s Beth Cefalu to eat an entire Gianelli sausage sandwich.
“I want to see you eat the whole sausage,” Cuomo can be heard telling Cefalu, as his daughter Michaela sits quietly next to him. A now-former aide to Cuomo could be seen handing Cefalu a sandwich.
“I don’t know if I should eat the whole sausage in front of you, but I’m definitely going to eat it,” Cefalu responds.
Cuomo then invites Cefalu to sit at his table. Before eating, Cefalu snaps a selfie with the governor while holding up her food.
“There’s too much sausage in that picture,” Cuomo says, prompting laughter from others at the table.
Fox News has reached out to the governor’s office seeking comment on the video. The more than four-year-old interaction is providing fodder for critics who say the most recent allegations against Cuomo follow a years-long pattern of the governor making inappropriate comments.
Cuomo acknowledged for the first time Sunday that some of his behavior with women had been “misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation,” and said he would cooperate with a sexual harassment investigation led by the state’s attorney general.
In a statement released amid mounting criticism from within his own party, Cuomo maintained he had never inappropriately touched or propositioned anyone. But he said he had teased people and made jokes about their personal lives in an attempt to be “playful.”
“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended. I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that,” he said.
Charlotte Bennett, a low-level aide in the governor’s administration until November, told The New York Times Cuomo asked inappropriate questions about her sex life, including whether she ever had sex with older men, and made other comments she interpreted as gauging her interest in an affair.
Her accusation came days after another former aide, Lindsey Boylan, a former deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to the governor, elaborated on harassment allegations she first made in December. Boylan said Cuomo subjected her to an unwanted kiss and inappropriate comments about her appearance.
Cuomo, 63, said in a brief statement Saturday he had intended to be a mentor for Bennett, who is 25. He has denied Boylan’s allegations.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.