NEW YORK (AP) – A woman who once worked as an unpaid intern for City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a contender to become New York City’s next mayor, accused him Wednesday of groping her without consent.
Speaking near Stringer’s Manhattan office, Jean Kim said that in 2001, when Stringer was a member of the state Assembly, he “relentlessly” pursued a sexual relationship with her.
She said that as they traveled together by taxi to events, “Scott Stringer repeatedly groped me, put his hands on my thighs and between my legs, and demanded to know why I wouldn’t have sex with him.”
Stringer, a Democrat, denied the allegations in a statement issued before Kim held her news conference.
“I firmly believe that all survivors of harassment have the right to come forward,” he said. “I will reserve further comment until this person has had the opportunity to share their story. For now, let me say without equivocation: these allegations are untrue and do not reflect my interactions with anyone, including any woman or member of my staff.”
Kim, whose lawyer accompanied her at the news conference, said she was telling her story now because seeing Stringer campaign for mayor as a champion for women “sickens me when I know the truth.”
Stringer, who turns 61 on Thursday, is a veteran politician who has been in elected office since he joined the state Assembly in 1993.
He has campaigned as a champion of women’s rights and has called on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign over sexual misconduct allegations against him.
Three women lawmakers who have endorsed Stringer‘s mayoral campaign said in a statement Wednesday that they “believe survivors.”
Democratic state Sens. Alessandra Biaggi and Julia Salazar and Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou said, “Our commitment to a harassment free government, workplace and society is steadfast, and our zero tolerance standard regarding sexual assault applies to abusers like Andrew Cuomo, if not more so, to our friends.”
Stringer is one of more than a dozen Democratic contenders in the mayoral race, in which the large field is trying to overcome early name recognition of Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate.
Others include Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Maya Wiley, a former MSNBC analyst and legal counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and former Citigroup executive Raymond McGuire.
The party primary is June 22.
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