Gov. Phil Murphy said sexual harassment accusations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are “concerning" and supports an independent investigation by the neighboring  state's attorney general.

The allegations threaten the prominent Democrat's political future. Cuomo was already facing criticism for his administration's undercounting of pandemic-related nursing home deaths.

Asked about the allegations during Monday's coronavirus briefing, Murphy said the allegations are "deeply concerning and deeply troubling."

"Anybody who has any concern, expresses a concern, deserves to be heard and it deserves to be completely and thoroughly investigated," Murphy said.

Murphy partnered with Cuomo and the governors from Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware to offer a unified response during the pandemic.

A former aide, Lindsey Boylan, said Cuomo subjected her to an unwanted kiss and comments about her appearance. Charlotte Bennett, a low-level aide in Cuomo's administration until November, told the New York Times that Cuomo asked questions about her sex life and made other comments she interpreted as gauging her interest in an affair.

The latest allegation comes from Anna Ruch, 33, who told the New York Times she met Cuomo at a wedding reception in New York and asked if he could kiss her. A photo taken by friend shows Cuomo with his hands on Ruch's face.

(Includes material copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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