Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo is "not absolutely sure" he never kissed one of his senior staffers on the lips, according to testimony released by Attorney General Letitia James Wednesday.

The admission that he may have kissed an unnamed aide identified as "Senior Staffer #2" is an apparent reversal from Cuomo's previous frequent denials that he ever engaged in inappropriate touching.

"People who I've known — I've worked with [Senior Staffer #2] for [REDACTED] years. I don't even remember all the situations that I've been in with her, the weddings, the — the deaths, funerals," he said during July 17 testimony before investigators hired by James. "Over [REDACTED] years could I have kissed her on the lips? Am I absolutely sure I never kissed her lips? No, I'm not absolutely sure I never kissed her on the lips."


The former governor said he "kiss[es] on the cheek as a rule" but conceded "it could happen that somebody kisses on the lips," saying only he couldn't recall having kissed aides identified as Senior Staffer #1 and Senior Staffer #4 on the lips.

"You know, some people peck on the lips, never a romantic kiss, but some people peck on the lips," he continued without naming any staffer in particular.

At least one former staffer, Annabel Walsh, told investigators in Aug. 3 testimony she recalled having kissed the governor on the lips on occasion and that she did not find the kisses uncomfortable.

Despite his admission that he may have kissed staffers on the lips, Cuomo maintained he "never" engaged in a kiss on the lips with the alleged victim in question, whose complaints that he reached under her blouse led to the former governor being hit with forcible touching charges last month.

Cuomo's team said James was "forced" to release the transcripts "after months of stalling ... as more & more people are questioning her politically motivated report."

"These transcripts include questionable redactions, and raise even more questions about key omissions made during this slanted process, which reeks of prosecutorial misconduct," Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi tweeted.

Last Friday, Judge Holly Trexler of Albany's City Court pushed back Cuomo's expected arraignment date to January after David Soares, Albany's district attorney, criticized Albany Sheriff Craig Apple's timing in announcing charges.

"We were in the middle of [our] investigation when the Sheriff unilaterally and inexplicably filed a complaint in this Court," Soares's Friday letter to Trexler said, prompting the judge to reschedule Cuomo's Nov. 17 planned arraignment for Jan. 7.

Apple acknowledged last month that the announcement of the charges against Cuomo came "much" sooner than originally planned.

"We would have liked to have presented everything, sat down with the DA, and explained exactly what we had," he said at an Oct. 29 press conference. "I would have also, out of courtesy, liked to have reached out to [Cuomo attorney Rita] Glavin and explained what we had and what the next process would be, but again, things change, and it doesn't always work out as planned."

But surrogates for Cuomo, who previously denied all misconduct allegations, said Apple's rush to serve charges proved his process was flawed.

"'Accidentally' filing a criminal charge without notification and consent of the prosecuting body doesn't pass the laugh test, and this reeks of Albany politics and perhaps worse," Azzopardi said on Oct. 28.

Azzopardi accused Apple of working hand in hand with James, whose bombshell Aug. 3 report detailing allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women precipitated the then-governor's resignation, and Rita Glavin, an attorney for Cuomo, sent the Albany sheriff a preservation of records request one day after he announced the criminal summons for Cuomo, alleging he spearheaded a "rogue" investigation.

But James's office said the charges "validate[d] the findings in our report," arguing her team had "proceeded without fear or favor" as it investigated the allegations throughout early 2021.

On Oct. 28, Apple announced that Cuomo would be placed under arrest and criminally charged with forcible touching. The criminal complaint against Cuomo, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Examiner, alleged that on Dec. 7, 2020, while at the New York governor's mansion, Cuomo "did intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim [REDACTED] and onto her intimate body part, specifically, the victim’s left breast." The complaint says that "a person is guilty of Forcible Touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person, or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire."

Even after Cuomo resigned on Aug. 24, Apple promised to continue his inquiry, saying "It was never about his office, although I appreciate him putting the people of New York first and stepping aside."


Despite stepping down, Cuomo has repeatedly railed against James's "unjust" report, and last month, Glavin called for an independent review into the attorney general's report, which contained "glaring omissions and deficiencies," she argued.

The former governor and the attorney general, once political allies, have been verbally sparring ever since James announced her findings. In September, James slammed Cuomo for not taking "responsibility for his own conduct" after Cuomo blasted his ouster as "politics."