Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his then-top aide, Melissa DeRosa, have been allegedly noticed by a state police bodyguard “making out on the sidewalk like high schoolers,” The Post has discovered.
The alleged May-December romance was apparently revealed within the sworn testimony of a feminine state trooper who has accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her and whose interview transcript was launched by Attorney General Letitia James earlier this week.
Although DeRosa isn’t recognized as Cuomo’s kissing associate within the 143-page doc, three sources with information of the proceedings mentioned her title is amongst a number of that have been blacked out and changed with job titles, which in her case is “Senior Staffer #1” — the individual with whom the then-governor was allegedly seen canoodling.
The unseemly risk of Cuomo, 63, getting sizzling and heavy with the married DeRosa, 39, emerged in the course of the probe that uncovered proof he sexually harassed 11 girls — together with 9 present or former state staff — whereas serving because the state’s highest elected official.
James’ Aug. 3 report detailing the avalanche of allegations led Cuomo to resign beneath strain of impeachment per week later and now has him dealing with a misdemeanor cost for allegedly groping the breast of one other aide, 33-year-old Brittany Commisso, inside Albany’s Executive Mansion, the governor’s official residence.
During a May 19 Zoom interview, the unidentified trooper — who served on Cuomo’s safety element — was requested by an out of doors lawyer employed by James whether or not her colleagues ever mentioned they “observed anything between the Governor” and any of his Executive Chamber subordinates, in line with the transcript.
“I had heard from Senior Investigator #1 that he once witnessed the Governor and Senior Staffer #1 like making out on the sidewalk like they were high schoolers,” the trooper answered.
“Again, he told me this. I didn’t witness this. I wasn’t even here at the time. But that’s what I had heard.”
When requested by lawyer Anne Clark if she’d heard “anything else,” the trooper mentioned, “I heard a rumor that before Senior Staffer #1 [redacted] that the Governor and her were in a hotel room by themselves for like an hour. And then one of the two left the room.”
It’s unclear from the transcript what occasion or motion adopted the time Cuomo and Senior Staffer #1 allegedly spent within the resort room, as all of the obvious references to it are blacked out.
“I had also heard that — again, rumor — I heard that there was a guy named [redacted] here. I don’t know how to spell his last name,” the trooper mentioned.
“But he was driving once and saw Senior Staffer #1 and the Governor like making out. He [Cuomo] was in the front seat. And Senior Staffer #1 was like sitting on the console kissing him.”
The trooper added: “I think everyone kind of like assumes or thinks that there’s something going on between them.”
Earlier in her interview, the trooper additionally famous that “during COVID, Senior Staffer #1 and Senior Staffer #2 were basically living at the mansion.”
“They were there from basically March until that article about the trooper dating [redacted] came out,” she mentioned.
The article in query seems to be an October 2020 Post expose that exposed a trooper who’d been certainly one of Cuomo’s bodyguards, Dane Pfeiffer, was transferred to a publish close to the Canadian border after he started courting Cuomo daughter Cara Kennedy-Cuomo.
Following its publication, the feminine trooper testified, “So it was kind of like, I think they were worried that people were going to start documenting or noticing who’s coming in and out. If they’re not leaving, you know, they’re sleeping there.”
“Again, could they had had their own bedrooms? Of course. But no one knows what’s going on behind closed doors,” she mentioned.
“I know that they would be up at the pool house in bikinis and bathing suits. I don’t really know anyone who stays at their boss’ house like that.”
Cuomo has been single since September 2019, when he and longtime girlfriend Sandra Lee, the TV cooking present star, announced they’d damaged up after 14 years collectively.
Five former staffers later informed The Post they believed Cuomo was concerned with or pursued a number of feminine aides whereas dwelling with Lee, 55, with one saying that his dishonest on her “was an open secret.”
Last month, The Post solely reported that DeRosa had cut up from husband Matt Wing, 38, after 5 years of marriage, with one supply saying, “They simply grew apart, and they have been living apart for a year.”
DeRosa and Wing confirmed their impending divorce in a joint assertion that mentioned, “Despite the fact that this chapter in our lives is ending, we are and always will be very close friends.”
During a heated July 17 interview that was additionally a part of the probe James commissioned, Cuomo was requested if it ever occurred that he and DeRosa — once more recognized as “Senior Staffer #1” — kissed one another on the lips, in line with the official transcript.
“It may have,” Cuomo mentioned.
“I don’t recall doing it, having a kiss on the lips with her.”
When pressed to clarify why “it may have happened,” Cuomo mentioned, “Mostly there are different events.”
“You know, I was at her wedding. So sometimes there’s different social functions. But I don’t remember that, no,” he mentioned.
“Okay. But it may have happened?” requested lawyer Joon Kim, a former appearing Manhattan US legal professional.
“It may have happened,” Cuomo mentioned.
Cuomo attended DeRosa and Wing’s August 27, 2016, nuptials on the swank Sagamore Resort on Lake George’s Green Island and made a toast congratulating the newlyweds, a supply who attended informed The Post.
The 515-page transcript of Cuomo’s grilling doesn’t present that he was requested concerning the alleged resort room incident or about his staffers having stayed on the Executive Mansion amid the pandemic.
In a ready assertion, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi denied that Cuomo had a “romantic relationship” with DeRosa and attacked James, who lately introduced she’s operating for governor.
“The fact that Tish James included these completely false bottom-of-the-barrel rumors in her selectively released, partially redacted transcripts says more about her character and motivations than anything else,” he mentioned.
“Multiple people have testified under oath that the Governor did not have a romantic relationship with any staffer and the AG’s continued weaponization of this report for her own political gain is even more evidence of prosecutorial misconduct.”
In a press release, DeRosa additionally mentioned: “As a young woman who has worked at the highest levels of government and politics, I’m used to other people making up and spreading rumors about me.”
“Am I Senior Staffer #1? I have no idea — you’d have to ask the AG’s office, but the things this person says is flat-out false,” DeRosa added.
“It’s beyond the pale for this trooper, who by her own admission I barely knew — who has already attempted to extort me for money — to make these accusations based on false rumors and for them to be printed in a newspaper. Not only is this ludicrous, it’s hurtful, and potentially actionable.”
DeRosa didn’t elaborate on the alleged extortion try however mentioned the trooper was represented by lawyer Douglas Wigdor.
Lawyer Valdi Licul, a associate at Wigdor’s agency, mentioned, “The investigative report and our client’s testimony speak for themselves.”
“It is unfortunate that Ms. DeRosa has chosen to retaliate against a victim of sexual harassment by falsely accusing her of extortion,” Licul mentioned.
“We thank the media in advance for continuing to respect our client’s privacy at this time.”
James’ workplace declined to remark.