Anna Ruch is a friend of Alexa Kissinger, who married Gareth Rhodes, a former Cuomo aide, on September 14, 2019. Cuomo officiated this wedding, the first and last time he met Anna Ruch. According to her LinkedIn, she has no job, but she has a photography website. Ruch claims Cuomo harassed her at this wedding.
The report concludes Cuomo sexually harassed Ruch based on the following claims:
- Cuomo put his hand on her back and touched her bare skin, where there was a cutout in the dress.
- He cupped her face with his hands and kissed her.
- Ruch was not an employee of NYS or Gov. Cuomo, hence sexual harassment law is not applicable.
- Ruch wore a cutout dress exposing bare skin on her back at a wedding.
- Touching other people’s back and kissing them on the cheek is normal behavior at such an event and expected.
The Interaction in Detail
On Saturday, September 14, 2019, Anna Ruch attended a wedding in a NYC restaurant. Her friend Alexa Kissinger married Gareth Rhodes, a senior aide to Cuomo, who officiated the wedding. After the ceremony, Cuomo approached Ruch and friends. One of her friends suggested Ruch should take a picture with him. In a CNN interview, her friend stated that Ruch asked Cuomo for a photo (Screenhot).
After shaking her hand, Cuomo placed his hand on her back, and, as she wore a dress with a cutout (not visible from the front), touched her bare skin. Ruch claims she grabbed his hand and removed it, and he said “wow you’re aggressive”. Cuomo does not remember the interaction, but testified that he would have remembered if someone had pushed his arm away.
She further claims he cupped her face, asked if he could kiss her, then kissed her on the cheek. There are photos of him cupping her face, not of a kiss on the cheek, but Cuomo doesn’t deny that this could have happened since it is his practice, especially at such occasions.
Anna Ruch also states she went on to complain to Gareth Rhodes that night. He testified that he does not remember her complaining. He no longer works for Gov. Cuomo and both he and his wife tweeted about supporting the women, so if he said he doesn’t remember, he doesn’t. She also had to ask someone the next day via text messages in the AG report if Cuomo had kissed her – she couldn’t remember. What else did she not remember or get wrong?
Media has only released the photos showing her from the side, media has not released the photo showing her from the front, clearly smiling at him.
Since Ruch was never employed by Cuomo or the State, so sexual harassment law does not apply. Her story does not belong in this report, and the only logical explanation that it was included is an attempt to increase the quantity of accusers for lack of quality of the accusations.
Even if she was an employee, Ruch’s claims do not describe sexual harasssment. She wore a dress with a cutout on the back and was “shocked” someone touched her skin. Kissing men and women on the cheek is not only commonplace behavior for Cuomo, but in general at weddings.