Roberta Kaplan, an attorney and women’s rights activist, has resigned from the board of Time’s Up, a #metoo era organization that assists women who pursue legal avenues against people who have sexually harassed them.
The resignation comes after it was revealed that she assisted NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office last year in its response to harassment allegations by one of the governor’s female colleagues, Lindsey Boylan. Kaplan allegedly reviewed an op-ed letter Cuomo’s office drafted last winter that discredited Boylan’s allegations and advised the governor’s office that the letter would be ready to send after some minor adjustments. The letter was not read by many, as an adviser later told Cuomo the letter could end up being problematic and it was never published.
Given Kaplan’s key role as the founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which helps women with their legal fees as they pursue charges against their abusers, her participation in Cuomo’s scandal left many wondering if she was a good fit for the organization. Kaplan resigned in a letter on Monday, citing her disappointment in the governor, who she thought was an ally for the women’s movement.
In 2019 the governor signed into law new legislation that “strengthened protections against discrimination and harassment,” according to the governor’s website. Kaplan also referred to her role as a practicing attorney. She is currently representing E. Jean Carroll, who has accused former President Donald Trump of rape, and has represented clients in several other high profile cases including some against Jeffrey Epstein.
Governor Cuomo announced his resignation on Tuesday morning in a speech, during which he continued to assert his innocence and apologized to the women named in the AG investigation report and their families for any distress he has caused them. His resignation will be effective in two weeks, at which time Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will step in as the first woman governor of New York.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BLOOMBERG