'I Never Touched Anyone Inappropriately Or Made Inappropriate Sexual Advances,' Governor SaysBy CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted Tuesday he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances,” saying he will not step down.

“I am 63 years old. I’ve lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am, and that’s not who I have ever been,” the governor said.

READ MORE: Gov. Cuomo Sexually Harassed Multiple Women In Violation Of State And Federal Law, AG Investigation Finds

WATCH: N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Press Conference

Cuomo was responding to a bombshell report from New York State Attorney General Letitia James, which found the governor sexually harassed multiple women, in violation of state and federal law.

“Specifically, the investigation found that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York State employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women,” James told reporters Tuesday morning.

WATCH: N.Y. Attorney General James’ Press Conference 

WEB EXTRA: Read The Report | Exhibits 1 | Exhibits 2 | Exhibits 3 | Cuomo’s Response

In his response, the governor specifically addressed Charlotte Bennett’s claim that he asked her inappropriate questions, including about being a sexual assault survivor, while she worked for him last year. He said her story “resonated deeply with me,” because his own family member survived a sexual assault in high school.

“Charlotte, I want you to know that I am truly and deeply sorry. I brought my personal experience into the workplace and I shouldn’t have done that. I was trying to help, obviously, I didn’t,” he said. “I wish nothing but good for you and for all survivors of sexual assault.”

Bennett initially tweeted a simple message to Cuomo: “resign.” Several lawmakers also renewed calls for him to be removed from office.

After the governor’s press conference, Bennett followed up with another tweet, saying, “I do not want an apology — I want accountability and an end to victim-blaming.”

Addressing complaints that he put his hands on one woman’s face and kissed another on the forehead, Cuomo played a slideshow of photos showing him embracing several people over the years.

“I’ve been making the same gesture in public all my life. I actually learned it from my mother and from my father. It is meant to convey warmth, nothing more. Indeed, there are hundreds, if not thousands of photos of me using the exact same gesture,” he said.

The governor went on to say he now understands there are “generational or cultural perspectives that, frankly, I hadn’t fully appreciated.”

“I accept responsibility, and we are making changes,” he added.

MORE NEWS: TIMELINE: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Under Investigation For Sexual Harassment Allegations, Nursing Home Deaths

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CBSNewYork Team