Andrew Cuomo: Fresh calls for New York governor to resign over harassment claims

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image captionAndrew Cuomo is a high-profile Democratic politician

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing calls from colleagues in his own party to resign after a third woman accused him of sexual harassment.

A photographer told the New York Times that the politician touched her face and asked to kiss her at a wedding.

Mr Cuomo, 63, denied touching anyone inappropriately but apologised if his comments were misinterpreted.

An investigation has begun after two former staff members also alleged harassment.

Following the latest accusation New York Congresswoman Kathleen Rice added her name to the list of people calling for the governor, who is one of the most influential Democratic politicians, to resign.

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In the latest allegations, photographer Anna Ruch said that Mr Cuomo put his hands on her back when they met at a wedding in 2019. She said he seemed "aggressive" when she removed his hands, and he went on to touch her face and ask to kiss her.

A photograph of the incident was also published in the newspaper. "I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed," Ms Ruch, 33, told the New York Times.

In a statement released before Ms Ruch's accusations were published, Mr Cuomo apologised that some things he had done "have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation".

On Monday New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the first steps in an external investigation of the allegations by former staff Lindsey Boylan and Charlotte Bennett against Mr Cuomo.

The governor became a familiar face internationally for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis, but he is now under scrutiny for allegedly hiding the true number of pandemic-related deaths in New York care homes.

He has also been accused of bullying colleagues, including by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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