Scott Stringer, a candidate for mayor of New York City, denies charges of sexual assault and harassment.
On Wednesday, a woman who served on mayoral candidate Scott Stringer's 2001 campaign for public advocate accused him of sexually assaulting and bullying her two decades ago.
Stringer, who has served as city comptroller for seven years, allegedly kissed and groped the woman without her permission and made several unwelcome sexual advances.
Kim, who is now a lobbyist, said she was working for Stringer as an unpaid intern at the time of the alleged incidents.
“He kept thinking, 'Why are you refusing to f—- me? Why are you refusing to f—- me?' Kim said during a press conference outside Stringer's Centre Street offices downtown. “I became increasingly dissatisfied with his advances, and eventually relocated to the East Side and quit the Democratic club.”
She and Stringer were both members of the Upper West Side's Group Free Democrats at the time.
She noted that Stringer was introduced to her by disgraced former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman — who was running for state senator at the time and resigned as AG in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations.
Patricia Pastor, her attorney, said that Stringer cautioned her not to inform others about his advances and offered to assist her in being elected as a Democratic district leader.
“I've done everything I can to put this chapter of my life behind me, to forget about it, and to move on with my life,” Kim said. “However, I'm coming out now because being forced to see him on television every day in my living room, pretending to be an advocate for women's rights, sickens me when I know the truth.”
Pastor said that Kim and Stringer never had a consensual relationship. She called for Stringer's resignation on Wednesday and for an investigation into the matter by the state attorney general and the county.
The accusations come at a critical point in Stringer's career. Two months before the Democratic primary, and recent polling indicates he is behind front-runners Andrew Yang and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Kim hinted at her Wednesday announcement Tuesday night in a press release issued by Pastor, who said Stringer made the unwelcome advances during his 2001 campaign for public advocate.
Kim was an occasional volunteer for the Stringer initiative, not an unpaid intern, according to a campaign source.
“It is much too common for women to report being sexually touched without permission, and men who participate in this behavior are often in positions of power and authority over the woman,” Pastor wrote in her statement Tuesday night. “I admire women who want to say, 'Enough is enough.'"
Her comments were followed by supportive written statements from a number of other women.
“It takes a great deal of bravery to speak out against evil. I admire the victim's courage in advocating for reform in an antiquated culture that is based on a person's silence,” said Krystal Balleza, a consent awareness advocate. “There is strength in speaking out and keeping men accountable like Scott Stringer.”
Stringer responded hours later, denying the accusations.
“I am a strong believer in the right of all survivors of abuse to come forward. I will refrain from commenting further until this individual has an opportunity to share their story,” he said. “For the time being, let me state unequivocally that these accusations are false and do not represent my relationships with anyone, including any woman or staff member.”
Stringer, however, did not immediately respond Wednesday with a more thorough response. He intends to address the accusations publicly in the afternoon.
The allegations indicated that supporters of the long-serving Manhattan politician might be prepared to abandon him if facts are verified.
A joint statement released by state Sens. Alessandra Biaggi, Julia Salazar, and Yuh-Line Niou — all of whom have endorsed Stringer — hinted that they might leave ship at any time and made a reference to Gov. Cuomo, who is also facing sexual harassment charges from multiple women.