Andrew Cuomo’s sister Madeline is accused of instructing an online activist group to smear its sexual harassment accusers with ‘bimbo photos’
The sister of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been accused of acting as the covert leader of an “activist” group that criticized her brother’s sexual harassment accusers online.
Madeline Cuomo, a lawyer and Andrew Cuomo’s younger sister, “sent” the action group We Decide New York (WDNY) “to support her brother and increasingly aggressively pursue his accusers,” according to a New York Times report on Monday.
In September 2022, when Charlotte Bennett, Andrew Cuomo’s former assistant, sued him over sexual harassment allegations, Madeline Cuomo fired text messages at leaders of the group, the Times reported, citing interviews with current WDNY executives. leaders and a wealth of thousands of messages sent to the outlet.
“Good morning, I just spoke and he thinks a distraction might be useful today,” she wrote, seemingly referring to her brother, who denies any involvement with the activist group.
Madeline Cuomo encouraged the activists to post “bimbo photos” of Bennett from her Instagram, showing “Charlotte In her sex kitten straddle” and possibly contrasting them with more “sober, professional” photos of loyal Cuomo aides.
Madeline Cuomo (left), a lawyer and sister of Andrew Cuomo (right), “sent” the activist group We Decide New York (WDNY) “to support her brother and hunt down his accusers”
“No respectable woman would EVER pose like that,” Madeline Cuomo wrote, adding: “Bimbo photos.” “Really despicable.” “Unsophisticated girls.”
Hours later, one of WDNY’s leaders Anna Vavare shared a sultry photo on Twitter showing Bennett dancing in lingerie, with the menacing comment “Your life will be dissected like a frog in an HS science class.”
In a statement to DailyMail.com on Monday night, Madeline Cuomo acknowledged her liaisons with WDNY, but insisted her brother Andrew Cuomo had no part in her actions.
“I was in informal contact with some of these people who wanted to spread the truth that was not being pursued by the mainstream media. I supported and encouraged their efforts to find out the truth,” Madeline Cuomo said.
“To be clear, I was dealing only with the folks at WDNY and without my brother’s involvement,” she said.
“As far as I called his name, it’s so that the group felt their efforts were appreciated, but it wasn’t at my brother’s direction or with his knowledge,” Madeline Cuomo added.
Andrew Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi told DailyMail.com: “There are many New Yorkers who support Governor Cuomo, believe he was on the trail, that the justice system was fundamentally corrupted, and that the credibility of the witnesses was ignored.
“The governor personally does not have or follow any social media accounts, and he was not directly or indirectly involved in these online efforts — if he had something to say, he has not held back from speaking publicly. .
“He values his supporters and believes that when the facts are fully revealed, the injustice will be undeniable.”
One of WDNY’s leaders, Anna Vavare, shared this sultry photo on Twitter of Bennett dancing in lingerie, after she filed a lawsuit accusing Andrew Cuomo of harassment
Vavare added the menacing note: ‘Your life will be dissected like a frog in an HS science class’
According to the Times report, the Bennett incident was far from an isolated one, and Madeline Cuomo had extensive contact with Vavare and Sandy Behan, WDNY’s founder and president.
The group, made up almost entirely of women who were inspired by Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 response, was founded in the spring of 2021 as the governor faced mounting criticism over New York’s nursing home deaths during the pandemic , as well as a growing number of sexual harassment allegations.
WDNY members, who were mostly in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, used social media to defend the Democrat-elect against the growing scrutiny and scrutiny.
According to the Times, Madeline Cuomo was in contact with the group within weeks of its formation and began inciting its members to increasingly harsh attacks on the governor’s critics.
Behan told the Times that Madeline Cuomo insisted her role be kept secret, urging WDNY members to remove her posts and falsely claiming to reporters that they had no contact with the Cuomo family.
Madeline was demanding. She wanted to make sure we kept the lead, and we did,” Behan said.
“This was a means for her to get information out for the benefit of her brother. She didn’t want to be my girlfriend, she used us.’
The Cuomo family is seen together in 1982 as Mario M. Cuomo is sworn in as governor
In February 2021, Charlotte Bennett became the second woman to come forward with allegations against Andrew Cuomo, who played a pivotal role in his downfall.
Madeline Cuomo’s relationship with the WDNY group fell apart late last year, following tensions over her mounting demands and a proposed documentary project, according to the Times.
Vavare unexpectedly resigned from the group’s leadership team, citing exhaustion and a dispute over social media account passwords.
Behan said Madeline Cuomo blamed her for Vavare’s departure, and that the group broke up over allegations about the failed documentary project.
“We were victims of this thing. We’ve been derailed by Madeline,” Behan told The Times.
In February 2021, Charlotte Bennett became the second woman to come forward with allegations against Andrew Cuomo, who played a pivotal role in his political downfall.
Cuomo resigned in August after New York Attorney General Letitia James released the results of her investigation, which concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women, including Bennett.
Cuomo has denied those allegations and criticized the attorney general’s report as a politically motivated axe.
“I have never touched anyone inappropriately,” he insisted at the time.
He has hinted at a political comeback and there is speculation that he could seek high office in the future, though his plans are closely guarded.