Roberta Kaplan resigned as Time’s Up president after facing widespread criticism for allegedly advising the administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on allegations of sexual harassment against her.
Kaplan, a prominent attorney who founded the Time’s Up legal defense fund and represents the writer E Jean Carroll In a defamation lawsuit against Donald Trump, he resigned Monday, becoming the latest prominent figure to resign in the wake of the Cuomo scandal.
Last week a report The New York attorney general found that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women, and that Kaplan had reviewed a draft of an opinion letter aimed at attacking Lindsey Boylan, a former assistant governor and the first to publicly accuse him of sexual harassment. . The letter was never published, but was part of a effort by the governor’s inner circle to discredit Boylan, according to the report.
On Sunday, a senior aide to the governor, Melissa DeRosa, who turned out to be a central part of the effort to retaliate against Boylan, resigned from the administration.
According to the Times, Kaplan announced her resignation by letter Monday, stating that, as a practicing attorney, she should not openly respond to questions about her involvement with Cuomo or DeRosa.
“Therefore, I have reluctantly concluded that active legal practice is no longer compatible with serving on the Board at Time’s Up at this time and I hereby resign,” Kaplan wrote, according to the Times.
His resignation came as a group of 40 sexual assault survivors. posted an open letter to Time’s Up, criticizing both Kaplan and the organization’s executive director, Tina Tchen, who is also mentioned in the attorney general’s report.
“We write to you as a collective group of survivors and victims who believe Time’s Up is failing the survivor community. We believed in their mission and hoped that their investment in eradicating sexual assault and harassment in the workplace would turn the tide to support us as we moved forward, but we are disappointed, ”the letter says.
It also calls for a third-party investigation “to illustrate the extent to which TIME’S UP board members and staff members have been contacted, offered advice, or are representing the perpetrators of harm.”
In a sentence Time’s Up said Kaplan’s resignation was “the right thing to do and appropriate.”
The attorney general’s report found that Cuomo groped, kissed or made suggestive comments to 11 women in violation of the law, prompting local prosecutors to launch a criminal investigation and reigniting calls for him to resign or be charged.
The investigation, which took almost five months to complete, interviewed 179 people and was conducted by two outside attorneys, found that the Cuomo administration was a “hostile work environment” that was “riddled with fear and intimidation.”
Cuomo’s lawyers have attempted to attack the integrity of the report as the governor seeks to hold on to his position, despite growing bipartisan calls for him to resign. The New York assembly is considering articles of impeachment against the governor.