New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigns after sexual harassment accusation

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned on Tuesday following an investigation that found he sexually harassed 11 women, adding to legal pressures and calls for his removal from President Joe Biden and others in the stunning downfall of a man once seen as a potential presidential contender.

Cuomo, a Democrat who has served as governor of the fourth most populous US state since 2011, announced his resignation after New York Attorney General Letita James issued on August 3 the results of a five-month independent investigation that concluded Cuomo sexually harassed several women and engaged in conduct. Violates US and New York State laws.

"I believe that given the circumstances, the best way to help now is to withdraw," Cuomo said in a statement, adding that "my resignation will be effective within 14 days."

But he said he wanted to make a "very deep apology" to any woman who had been offended by his behaviour.

"I've always been very close to people. (I confess) I embrace and kiss people spontaneously, whether men or women. I've done that all my life."

"It never occurred to me to cross the line with anyone, but I did not realize" the line between what is permitted and what is not, he added.

Last Tuesday, the US President called on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign after an independent investigation found that he sexually harassed several women.

"I think he should resign," Biden told reporters during a news conference in Washington.

Asked if the state legislature should "remove him from office," Biden declined to comment, saying "we have to take things step by step."

Cuomo had previously confirmed that he "never touched anyone inappropriately", after an investigation concluded that he had sexually harassed several female state government employees.

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