The woman accusing Comptroller and Mayoral candidate Scott Stringer of sexual assault is denying that she worked for Andrew Yang’s campaign after campaign records sent to PoliticsNY but first reported on by NY1 revealed that she filed ballot petitions for Yang, who is polling as the front runner for mayor.
Jean Kim came forward earlier this week alleging that Stringer groped her 20 years ago while she was an unpaid intern on his 2001 campaign for public advocate. The accusations, which Stringer denies, turned the mayoral race on its head leading to calls for Stringer to resign his post as comptroller and withdraw from the race.
But now documents first reported on by NY1 and verified with the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) show that Kim filed petitions for his rival and current frontrunner in the race, Yang, casting shadows on her motives in coming forward.
In a statement sent through her lawyer, Kim said that her decision to come forward was not because she worked for the Yang campaign. She has never worked for the campaign nor has she decided who she’ll vote for in the Democractic mayoral primary in June, she said.
“Regardless of who gets my vote, my decision to disclose my experience with Scott Stringer arose out of the gnawing feeling in my gut every time I saw him touting his support for women. I am not interested in pushing anyone into the mayor’s office,” she said. “I am disheartened but not at all surprised by his attacks and efforts to discredit me. It is exactly what I expected him to do. Lie, attack and retaliate.”
Patricia Pastor, Kim’s lawyer, said that these revelations are an attempt to attack and discredit her client and are the result of twisting how the petition process is done. Candidates petition to get on the ballot in slates, she said, In this case, Kim was petitioning for Esther Yang, a friend who is running for Female District Leader in Assembly District 76.
“This is nothing more than typical gaslighting, blaming the victim and seeking to discredit her. It is unacceptable,” Pastor said.
The petitions signed and filed by Kim with the BOE were for a slate of candidates including the two Yangs, who are not related, Manhattan Borough President candidate Brad Hoylman and City Council candidate Julie Menin.
“The fact that Andrew Yang’s name appears, along with Brad Hoylman and Julie Menin, on a ballot petition circulated by Jean, does not reflect a working relationship of any kind between Jean and the Andrew Yang campaign,” said Pastor.
Stringer’s campaign did not comment for this story but they have denied Kim’s accusations saying that anything that happened between them was consensual.
“Ms. Kim worked for Eliot Spitzer in 2013 and now we learn that she was working for Andrew Yang this year,” said Tryone Stevens, the Stringer spokesperson, to NY1. “There is a pattern here of inaccurate statements made by Ms. Kim’s attorney.”