Tuesday, 13 April 2021

NY State Senator Julia Salazar claims colleagues who told her she looked 'like a Bond girl and should be on a calendar' were emboldened by Gov Cuomo's behavior

 A New York state senator says she was told she looked 'like a Bond girl' and 'should be on a calendar' by male colleagues in Albany. 

Julia Salazar, 30, told The New York Times the incidents happened while in the legislative chamber and then at a fundraiser outside the Capitol in 2019. 

Her claims were among a number of allegations of 'abusive behavior' made by more than 30 people working in Albany and come in light of a multiple sexual harassment and misconduct allegations made against Governor Andrew Cuomo. 


She didn't make allegations against Cuomo. 

Of the Bond girl comments Salazar said: 'It seemed odd for my male colleague to say that.' Salazar said they came from older Republican senator whom she did not name. 

A fellow legislator's male staffer is then said to have told her at an event: 'You should be on a calendar.' Democrat Salazar says she 'so embarrassed' that she left. 

Others describe a male aide leaving bruise marks on a female colleague's leg after squeezing it as well as unwanted advances and touching; another alleges a picture of a staffer in a bikini was posted in a meeting the woman was at. 

Sen. Alessandra Biaggi said: 'There's a whole community of very smart people who are jaded by the abusive behavior and accept it as normal and don't do anything about it.

'If they see the person at the highest level get away with it, and they align themselves with that person, then they'll get away with it, too.' 

New York state senator Julia Salazar claims she was told she looked 'like a Bond girl' and 'should be on a calendar' by male colleagues in Albany

New York state senator Julia Salazar claims she was told she looked 'like a Bond girl' and 'should be on a calendar' by male colleagues in Albany

Julia Salazar, 30, told The New York Times the incidents happened while in the legislative chamber and at a fundraiser outside the Capitol in 2019. Her claims were among a number of allegations of 'abusive behavior' made by more than 30 people working in Albany, pictured

Julia Salazar, 30, told The New York Times the incidents happened while in the legislative chamber and at a fundraiser outside the Capitol in 2019. Her claims were among a number of allegations of 'abusive behavior' made by more than 30 people working in Albany, pictured 

The sexual harassment and misconduct allegations against Cuomo are currently being investigated by the New York Attorney General's office.

Cuomo has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least nine women - most of whom are current or former staffers. 

He also faces investigation over allegations of an undercount in the number of nursing home deaths related to COVID-19.

Leah Hebert, a former state legislative aide, said: 'You could definitely look at Albany and say nothing has changed.' 

Sen. Alessandra Biaggi said: 'There's a whole community of very smart people who are jaded by the abusive behavior and accept it as normal and don't do anything about it'

Sen. Alessandra Biaggi said: 'There's a whole community of very smart people who are jaded by the abusive behavior and accept it as normal and don't do anything about it'

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz said she was 'keen on dressing to not grab attention' during a work trip to Puerto Rico. 

One female lobbyist added: 'Female advocates who were in Birkenstocks and pants are less likely to get a legislator to talk to them than a lobbyist in heels and a skirt.' 

It all comes after one aide who had already accused Cuomo of groping her at the Executive Mansion late last year has now spoken in more detail about her claims. 

The woman - who spoke on the condition of anonymity - alleges Cuomo closed her in a room with him and pulled her in for a hug before reaching under her blouse while ignoring her protests.

She said that Cuomo touched her inappropriately on multiple occasions after 'grooming' her for roughly two years. 

Things escalated about a year ago, she said, recalling one conversation in which Cuomo allegedly told her: 'Oh, if you were single, the things that I would do to you.'  

Other accusations from separate women against Cuomo range from planting unwanted kisses to asking unwelcome personal questions about sex and dating. 

The governor has repeatedly denied any allegations of sexual harassment, and insisted that he 'never touched anyone inappropriately.'    

Cuomo has repeatedly denied any allegations of sexual harassment, and insisted that he 'never touched anyone inappropriately'

Cuomo has repeatedly denied any allegations of sexual harassment, and insisted that he 'never touched anyone inappropriately'

Former Cuomo aide Lindsay Boylan, 36, who was the first to accuse the governor of harassment. She alleged Cuomo asked her to play strip poker and kissed her on the lips without consent.

Charlotte Bennett, 25, was next to make accusations, saying Cuomo was 'grooming' her and asking inappropriate questions.  

Democratic leaders in the state - including Salazar and Biaggi - have already called for Cuomo's resignation in light of the multiple scandals. 

Among those who have also called for his resignation are Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, as well as New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.

Cuomo has refused to do so and has asked citizens to hold on until the investigations run their course. 

His aide Richard Azzopardi said Biaggi had 'chronically misrepresented her role' in the governor's office, and said that Cuomo 'did not substantively interact with her,' and that 'the majority of the senior staff never knew who she was'. 

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