Former intern accuses New York City mayoral candidate Scott Stringer of sexually assaulting her in 2001
- Scott Stringer, one of the top NYC mayoral contenders, was accused of sexual assault late Tuesday.
- Jean Kim, Stringer's former intern, said he forced himself on her several times 20 years ago.
- Stringer has denied the allegations, saying they shared "a consensual relationship."
Democratic New York City mayoral candidate and City Comptroller Scott Stringer has been accused by a former intern of sexually assaulting her in 2001.
"When I saw him touting how he is a make-believe champion for women's rights, that is what really put me over the top in terms of having to come out for the future of New York," Leah Kim, a lobbyist and former intern for Stringer when he was in the New York Assembly, said at a press conference Wednesday.Stringer "kissed me using his tongue, put his hand down my pants and groped me inside my underpants," Kim said.
Stringer denied the allegations shortly after Kim's press conference on Tuesday night. The comptroller said the accusations are "untrue and do not reflect my interactions with anyone, including any woman or member of my staff."A spokesman for Stringer said he and Kim had an "on and off romantic relationship."
After Kim came forward at her press conference, several other candidates in the mayoral race called on Stringer to bow out."Scott Stringer should stand by his own policy of zero tolerance for sexual harassment and drop out of the mayoral race," Katherine Garcia, a fellow primary challenger and former NYC sanitation commissioner, said in a press release.Once Garcia became the first candidate to demand Stringer drop out, others like attorney and former MSNBC contributor Maya Wiley, non-profit executive Dianne Morales, and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan all did the same.
Frontrunner Andrew Yang addressed the allegations in a speech for New York University law students, but stopped short of calling on Stringer to exit the race.
"She took a very brave step this morning," Yang said of Kim. "Thank you, Jean, for your courage today."Stringer held a press conference at 2 p.m. where he again denied the allegations, saying "it was a consensual relationship"and "what she said today is simply not true and not accurate."
The comptroller also denied that Kim ever worked for him as an intern, although campaign finance reports show she was paid $35 by Stringer's public advocate campaign. He also said he had another girlfriend at the time of his "light relationship" with Kim.
Kim, for her part, has denied being in a relationship with Stringer.
-Gloria Pazmino (@GloriaPazmino) April 28, 2021Stringer's wife, Elyse Buxbaum, stood beside him at the press conference, saying: "He is the most respectful man I have ever known."
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