Prominent US attorney and chairwoman of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, Roberta Kaplan, has resigned from the organization amid criticism of her ties to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and her alleged efforts to discredit one of his accusers.
Kaplan, who co-founded the legal defense fund in the wake of the #MeToo movement, submitted her resignation on Monday, the New York Times reported.
The progressive attorney was referenced in Attorney General Letitia James’ damning report released last week that accused Cuomo of sexually harassing 11 women.
Investigators found that Kaplan had reviewed a draft op-ed letter that attacked Lindsey Boylan, who was the first woman to publicly accuse the disgraced New York governor of sexual harassment, according to the report.
Kaplan, whose law firm represented Cuomo’s top aide Melissa DeRosa during the attorney general’s investigation, told Time’s Up in her resignation letter that she couldn’t answer questions about Cuomo or DeRosa due to her work as a practicing lawyer.
“I therefore have reluctantly come to the conclusion that an active law practice is no longer compatible with serving on the Board at Time’s Up at this time and I hereby resign,” Kaplan said in the letter.
Investigators say DeRosa, who resigned on Sunday, led the efforts to try and discredit Boylan.
DeRosa told investigators that Kaplan had reviewed the letter regarding Boylan and was “okay with some changes,” according to the report.
“The draft letter or op-ed attacking Ms. Boylan — particularly when combined with the release of the confidential internal records to the press — constitutes retaliation,” the investigators wrote in the report.
However, the op-ed letter that investigators say Kaplan reviewed was never published.
Kaplan noted in her resignation letter the severity of the attorney general’s findings.
“Unfortunately, recent events have made it clear that even our apparent allies in the fight to advance women can turn out to be abusers,” she said.
Kaplan’s resignation came on the same day that Brittany Commisso, the aide who has lodged the most serious accusations against Cuomo, went public in a new interview — claiming he groped and hugged her for “personal sexual satisfaction” and turned her “dream job … into a nightmare.”
Commisso, previously known only as “Executive Assistant #1,” tearfully detailed what she called unwanted touching during creepy encounters with Cuomo, for whom she started working in 2017, in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”