BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Another woman has stepped forward accusing Governor Andrew Cuomo in appropriate behavior.
“The way he looked at me and his body language made me very uncomfortable,” stated Sherry Vill.
Vill is the latest woman to accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment. But unlike other accusers, Vill says it happened in her own home.
Vill says when she was living in Greece, New York following major flooding in the spring of 2017 along Lake Ontario.
The governor and staffers came to her home to access the damage.
Vill appeared in a Zoom news conference with well-know Los Angeles based attorney Gloria Allred to describe what happened.
Vill she agreed to let the governor into her home along with her husband and son.
“That’s when the governor looked at me approached me — took my hand and pulled me to him — he leaned down over me and kissed my cheek,” Vill recalled.
Vill says she was holding her small dog when it happened.
“And I thought he was going to pet my dog, but instead he wedged his face between the dog and mine and kissed me on the other cheek,” Vill explained.
Photos of the kiss were created into a screen shot from her son who videoed the Cuomo visit.
Vill says Cuomo told her that’s ‘what Italians do — they kiss both cheeks’. But Vill says she is Italian and does not greet strangers with a kiss.
She says it made her feel “embarrassed” and “weird” and felt his actions were quote in a “highly sexual manner.”
“He stopped he turned to me and said you are beautiful — that made me feel even more uncomfortable,” Vill described. “I felt as though he was coming on to me in my own home.”
Vill says she feels the governor was acting “inappropriately.”
Within days received a call from governor’s staff telling her there was an event in town and extended an invitation only to Vill and not her husband.
Vill says she a business woman. She says she didn’t come forward sooner because she was afraid of retaliation.
“I’m still afraid of him, however, I’m no longer willing to remain silent and that is why I am coming forward today,” Vill remarked.
Cuomo’s office also sent a letter and photos from his visit. She says it was only addressed to her.
After making her statement, Vill’s attorney Allred responded to reporters questions. She says vill will be contacting the state attorney general’s office, which is investigating misconduct allegations involving multiple women.
7 Eyewitness News reached out for a response from the governor’s office.
The following statement was issued by attorney Rita Glavin:
“During times of crisis, the Governor has frequently sought to comfort New Yorkers with hugs and kisses. As I have said before, the Governor has greeted both men and women with hugs, a kiss on the cheek, forehead or hand for the past forty years. I encourage everyone to look at other photographs from his visit to Greece, NY that day. https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/albums/72157681436495503/with/34167299663/ [flickr.com]
Nothing described at today’s press conference was unique in that regard. Three other related points concerning Gloria Alfred’s press conference: (1) the July 19, 2017 letter from the Governor that Ms. Allred displayed was a nearly identical follow-up form letter sent to more than 30 people that the Governor visited to support and assist following the Lake Ontario flooding, and those form letters were signed with an autopen; (2) it is a practice of the Governor’s office to send signed photos to people he meets with after events, and those photos are regularly signed with an autopen; (3) it is common for staffers to contact constituents after events and invite them to a future event on a related topic.”
According to a Reuters, a story posted on West Law Today, indicates Cuomo has hired Glavin as he faces “mounting sexual misconduct allegations.”