The same celebrities who declared their love for Andrew Cuomo throughout 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic surged around the globe are now largely silent about the embattled New York Governor’s ongoing sexual harassment scandal.
2020 saw female comedian Chelsea Handler admit she is “pretty hot for” Cuomo, while singer Cher tweeted she had fallen “in love” with the governor. “Red Table Talk” co-host Jada Pinkett Smith previously referred to him as her “celebrity crush,” noting at the time that she didn’t miss one of his press conferences.
Actor Robert De Niro once fielded a question about playing a current-day politician in a movie about the coronavirus and expressed interest in landing a fantasized part as Cuomo. Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio showed support for Cuomo as recently as this January on Twitter, although it was centered on the governor’s focus on climate change.
Those stars are just a handful of nearly a dozen celebrities that Fox News has reached out to over the last month for comment about whether or not their feelings about the New York governor have changed, given that seven women have come forward with complaints of sexual harassment against him.
Not one of those celebrities, which also include Sarah Silverman, Christina Applegate, Alyssa Milano, Jimmy Fallon formerly praising the politician publicly, responded to Fox News’ multiple requests for comment. A rep for Ellen DeGeneres, who once called herself a “fan” of Cuomo in a now-deleted tweet, declined to comment.
Silverman joked that she was Handler’s competition to win over Cuomo’s heart. Actress Christina Applegate once praised Cuomo in a tweet for acting “real.” Likewise, Milano thanked Cuomo for his “passionate leadership” last year.
Members of the public have long voiced discontent with Hollywood’s elite speaking up about their political beliefs. This was an especially vocal argument during the months leading up to the 2020 presidential election, as a majority of celebs with cult followings on social media often used Twitter and Instagram to criticize former President Trump and praise President Biden, and vice versa.
Activist Rose McGowan, who has essentially left Hollywood after repeatedly calling it a “cult” and moved to Mexico, stressed this point in an interview with Fox News last month.
“Celebrities don’t have to speak out on Cuomo,” McGowan told us at the time. “But I mean, yeah, obviously if they supported him then they should — but that’s not a shock. I never expected any of them to.”
McGowan spoke to Fox News on the heels of claims shared by Cuomo’s first accuser, Lindsey Boylan, who was his former top aide. The “Charmed” alum said she “believes” Boylan and called for Cuomo to be replaced.
In the weeks following Boylan’s published essay of her sexual harassment claims came similar accusations against Cuomo from Charlotte Bennett, Anna Ruch, Karen Hinton, and Ana Liss. The sixth allegation comes from reports in the Albany Times Union. According to the latest report, which was based on information from someone familiar with the allegations, a female executive chamber staffer claimed that she was invited to the governor’s mansion to help him with his cell phone, and while she was there he reached under her blouse and groped her.
The seventh accuser is reporter Jessica Bakeman. In a published piece for New York magazine titled “Cuomo Never Let Me Forget I Was a Woman,” Bakeman shared a first-person account, claiming the New York governor’s hands “had been on my body — on my arms, my shoulders, the small of my back, my waist — often enough by late 2014 that I didn’t want to go to the holiday party he was hosting for the Albany press corps at the executive mansion.”
New York State Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation into the allegations against Cuomo. The governor has denied wrongdoing and has resisted calls to resign from office.