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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s first accuser called Thursday for the president of Time’s Up to quit — after the #MeToo group’s leader gave a groveling apology for helping to protect the accused repeat sex harasser.
Former aide Lindsey Boylan — who first tweeted in December last year about Cuomo harassing her — shared a tweet from Time’s Up in which the group said it was “seeking input from the survivor community” over the damage caused by it helping Cuomo discredit accusers.
“You can start by resigning, [Tina Tchen],” Boylan tweeted the group’s CEO and president, a former chief of staff for Michelle Obama.
“So too should any employees engaged in silencing & diminishing survivors. No trust can be built from this place,” Boylan wrote.
Time’s Up “should take a cold hard look at their benefactors and ask themselves if the real cost is worth the support,” Boylan added of the campaign group set up to help sex accusers.
Boylan’s searing takedown came in the wake of the sudden resignation of the group’s chairwoman.
Prominent US attorney Roberta Kaplan, who also co-founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, stepped down Monday amid criticism of her alleged efforts to help the disgraced governor discredit Boylan.
The progressive attorney was referenced in Attorney General Letitia James’ damning report released last week that accused Cuomo of sexually harassing 11 women.
Investigators found that Kaplan had reviewed a draft op-ed letter that attacked Boylan, who was the first woman to publicly accuse Cuomo of sexual harassment, according to the New York Times. The letter was never published.
Kaplan’s law firm also represented Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa during the investigation.
On Wednesday, Tchen issued a public apology, in which she said she was “profoundly sorry” for her group’s work in downplaying the outgoing governor’s accusers, rather than its expected role in supporting such women.
“To the survivors in our organization, the @TIMESUPNOW network, and throughout our community — I am sorry,” Tchen wrote on Twitter.
“The last thing I want any of my actions to do is to cause added pain or harm to survivors. I know that some of my actions have done just that,” she admitted.
“I also know that the news & events of the past week hurt, triggered, & disappointed many of you. For that I am profoundly sorry,” she wrote.
The former executive director of President Barack Obama’s council on women and girls said her women’s rights activist group worked with Cuomo’s office in 2019 on “legislation that has enacted major improvements in the state laws on sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse.”
She said that when Kaplan told her about “actions in Cuomo’s office,” she “responded believing that, as they had been in the past, his office was interested in doing the right thing for women.”
“The facts revealed in the AG’s findings — that the letter was drafted by Cuomo as part of an ongoing effort to undermine the survivors — were unknown to me until the investigation’s report was released,” she insisted.
“I would never participate in or condone, in any way, such an attack or strategy. But that in no way excuses my oversight and mistakes in failing to protect survivors and our work.
“For that, again, I am profoundly sorry,” she wrote.
Asking for feedback, the Time’s Up boss then insisted the group wants to “move into a chapter where we both fight for accountability externally & model it internally, and where we are moving in lockstep with our partners & allied communities.”
Boylan this week confirmed she plans to sue Cuomo and his enablers, saying the governor has continued “gaslighting and revictimizing” women.
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