Chair of Time's Up resigns over criticism about Gov. Andrew Cuomo ties
- Roberta Kaplan has resigned from her position on Monday
- Time’s Up is an organisation which fight sexual abuse and promote gender equality
- Kaplan was advising Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration
The chairwoman of the #MeToo charity organisation Time's Up Roberta Kaplan, who is an attorney and women's advocate, has resigned from her position on Monday over the fallout from her work advising Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration when the first allegations of sexual harassment were made against him last year.
Recently, the governor was accused of sexual misconduct against 11 women after Attorney General Letitia James, earlier in the week, released a report that included testimonies of women alleging sexually inappropriate behaviour of the governor.
Kaplan, the co-founder of the legal defense fund of Time’s Up, was one of several prominent figures whom the report found to be involved in an effort to discredit one of Cuomo’s alleged victims, and she has continuing legal ties to a former Cuomo aide accused of leading that effort, according to the Associated Press reports.
In a tweet, Time’s Up, which is an organisation founded by Hollywood women to fight sexual abuse and promote gender equality, announced on Monday that Kaplan stepped down from the board: “We and she agree that is the right and appropriate thing to do.”
“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 wrote in her resignation letter.
Kaplan cited her work counselling the administration last winter and her more recent legal work representing Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Cuomo who resigned Sunday.
According to the New York attorney general's report, Kaplan was consulted by the Cuomo administration when he was first accused of harassment by a former economic development adviser, Lindsey Boylan.
At the time, Boylan was alone in accusing Cuomo of misconduct and the governor and his administration had drafted a letter attacking her credibility and motives, with the intent of circulating it publicly.
Allegedly, Kaplan told the administration that with some adjustments, the letter would be fine to send out, however, other advisers, though, felt it was a bad idea and the letter was ultimately never widely disseminated.
Kaplan and Tina Tchen founded the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in 2018 to provide legal defense for sexual violence victims, and her role in advising the Cuomo administration stunned some of the group's supporters.
Meanwhile, Several of its past backers sent an open letter Monday demanding an independent, third-party investigation. It also called on Times Up to case “all partnerships” with and return any donations from individuals and corporations with active sexual assault or harassment allegations.