ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A top aide to New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo has denied suggestions by Republican opponent Carl Paladino that Cuomo had an extramarital affair.

Cuomo General Counsel Ben Lawsky told The Associated Press there is “no factual basis” in Paladino’s claim and that Cuomo has called the accusation “baseless.” His marriage to Kerry Kennedy ended in 2003.

Lawsky’s statement comes after Cuomo was directly asked Friday by a reporter whether he had an extramarital affair. Cuomo responded that he wouldn’t engage in gutter politics.

Paladino raised the issue Thursday in an ad, saying Cuomo’s “prowess is legendary.”

Cuomo responded that you need “two grains of salt for every sentence he utters.”

He told reporters Paladino’s name-calling is a great disservice to the people.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Watch & Listen LIVE