Andrew Cuomo has resigned as governor of New York in the face of a devastating report on sexual harassment

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, has resigned after a state attorney general inquiry concluded that he sexually harassed several women, the majority of whom worked for him, and retaliated after some of them complained. On Tuesday morning, the governor made a public statement that he would be stepping down, stating that his resignation will take effect in fourteen days.

He began defiantly by criticizing Attorney General Letitia James' report and warning New Yorkers about the dangers of "bias or a lack of fairness in the justice system," then said he thought his behavior was acceptable but acknowledged that the eleven women James claimed he harassed were likely "truly offended" and apologized "deeply, deeply."

Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, both of New York's US Senators – one of whom is Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer – two Democratic New York congressmen, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, and a slew of Republicans in Washington DC all demanded Cuomo's resignation.

Kathy Hochul, Cuomo's No. 2 and New York lieutenant governor, has termed his behavior "repulsive and unlawful." “I concur with Governor Cuomo's choice to resign,” Hochul stated. "It's the proper thing to do, and it's in New Yorkers' best interests. I am prepared to lead as New York State's 57th governor as someone who has served at all levels of government and is the next in line of succession."

She will now be the state's first female governor. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the majority leader of the state legislature, will take over as lieutenant governor. She hailed the resignation as proof of "our capacity to establish a more responsible government structure."

The governor has positioned herself as a supporter of the resurrected #MeToo campaign, which was launched in 2017 by allegations against now-convicted Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Cuomo, on the other hand, claimed on Tuesday that he had "never crossed the line with anyone" in his thinking, before adding, "I did not appreciate the extent to which the line has been redrawn."

He also said there was “no factual basis” for the most serious allegation against him. This is that he groped his former aide Brittany Commisso’s breast, which prompted a criminal complaint that is being investigated by the sheriff’s office in Albany county, where the state capital and Cuomo’s executive offices and mansion are located.

“The greatest way I can contribute today is if I stand aside and allow the government to go back to governing,” he said. "As a result, that's what I'll do.” Cuomo had originally defied the conclusions of a five-month investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who determined that he had harassed eleven women and violated civil law prohibiting workplace misconduct.

On Tuesday, August 3rd, shortly after James released the inquiry findings, the 63-year-old governor delivered a video message in which he stated, "I never touched anybody improperly or made inappropriate sexual approaches," and added, "It's just not who I am." Sexual harassment and assault campaigners were horrified after seeing the governor's response.