If she’s Ghislaine Maxwell, does that make Gov. Andrew Cuomo … Jeffrey Epstein?
Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, sarcastically likened herself to the alleged accomplice of the late, notorious pedophile during a heated conference call with two Albany journalists, according to a recording that’s part of the bombshell state report on sexual harassment allegations against the governor.
“Am I Ghislaine Maxwell in this situation because she walked in and said hello?” DeRosa said.
“Because I just want to make sure that next time, I don’t look at anyone in the eye.”
DeRosa made the bizarre, self-deprecating remark during a conversation with editors of the Albany Times Union on March 13, according to Attorney General Letitia James’ report.
Earlier that day, the Times Union reported on a June 2020 interaction between DeRosa and Charlotte Bennett, the 25-year-old former Cuomo staffer who’d recently publicly accused the governor, 63, of sexually harassing her.
While castigating Times Union editors Brendan Lyons and Casey Seiler over the article, DeRosa repeated her Maxwell analogy as she mocked Bennett in dramatic, affected tones, according to the recording.
“You presented it like, Melissa Ghislaine DeRosa introduces herself to the poor, innocent Charlotte Bennett as she walks through the door with the governor and the place is lined up to look at them,” DeRosa said.
“And she’s — there’s the predatory figure in Christian Louboutins, saying, ‘Nice, I’m so glad you’re here.’”
DeRosa added: “Guys, I’d like to say I think you guys are ridiculous.”
Maxwell, 59, is being held without bail pending trial in Manhattan federal court on conspiracy and child sex trafficking charges tied to Epstein’s sexual abuse of underage girls during the 1990s and early 2000s.
The multimillionaire financier Epstein hanged himself while locked up in August 2019, about a month after his blockbuster arrest in the sickening scheme.
Maxwell’s prosecution is being overseen by DeRosa’s mother-in-law, Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss.
DeRosa’s mention of Christian Louboutins is an apparent reference to another article, published a day earlier by New York magazine, in which DeRosa, 38, was described as wearing the pricey women’s footwear with trademark red-lacquered soles.
During her rant, DeRosa said the author of that report “accuses me of not being nice to someone in the bathroom.”
DeRosa also complained that the Daily Mail had recently published “pictures of me having dinner with the governor, where he’s not touching my leg, but they’re saying he’s touching my leg, twelve days after my wedding.”
“Hey, Melissa, we’re going to stick to what we’re publishing, OK?” Seiler said.
DeRosa angrily responded: “Hey, Casey? I think you’re great. Your kids go to school with my sister’s kids. I’ve known you a long time. It is my f–king name here.”
The nearly 39-minute recording, which James posted online, appears to have been made by one of the journalists and was obtained during a five-month investigation that found Cuomo allegedly sexually harassed 11 women, including nine current or former state employees.
Bennett is among the complainants whose accusations against Cuomo are detailed in James’s explosive, 168-page report on the probe’s findings.
According to the report, Cuomo’s then-communications director, Peter Ajemian, also took part in the recorded conversation, which involved DeRosa’s admitted leaking of documents from the personnel file of former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan to various news outlets in a bid to discredit her allegations against Cuomo.
“Mr. Lyons said that…the Times Union did not want the Confidential Files sent to them, but the Executive Chamber did so anyway,” according to a footnote in the report.
“Ms. DeRosa testified that she did not think that the Times Union did not want to receive the personnel file.”
Boylan was the first woman to publicly accuse the governor of sexual harassment and an essay she posted on the Medium website in February sparked several other women to come forward with their own accounts.
Cuomo responded to James’ report with a pre-recorded video statement in which he said “I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances” and suggested the AG’s probe was a political hit job.
Neither DeRosa nor Cuomo’s office immediately responded to requests for comment.
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