Time's Up chair is out after advising Cuomo in sexual harassment scandal

Roberta Kaplan
(Image credit: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Fortune)

Roberta Kaplan, chair of Time's Up, is resigning after being criticized for her involvement in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D) response to his sexual harassment scandal.

Kaplan announced Monday she would leave the organization that fights sexual harassment after an investigation into Cuomo found that Kaplan was involved in an attempt to discredit one of the governor's accusers, according to The New York Times.

"Unfortunately, recent events have made it clear that even our apparent allies in the fight to advance women can turn out to be abusers," Kaplan said in her resignation letter. "We have felt the raw, personal and profound pain of that betrayal."

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A report from New York Attorney General Letitia James, which found that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 current and former state employees, said Kaplan reviewed a draft of a letter disparaging Lindsey Boylan, a woman who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. "Ms. Kaplan read the letter to the head of the advocacy group Time's Up, and both of them allegedly suggested that, without the statements about Ms. Boylan's interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine," the report said.

Kaplan's law firm represents Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to Cuomo who recently resigned in the wake of the report, and Kaplan said in her resignation letter that an "active litigation practice is no longer compatible with serving on the board" of Time's Up.

In the wake of James' investigation, sexual assault survivors signed an open letter saying they were "dismayed yet unsurprised" to see Kaplan named in the Cuomo report, per The Hollywood Reporter.

"There is a consistent pattern of behavior where the decision-makers at Time's Up continue to align themselves with abusers at the expense of survivors," the letter said. "Time's Up should be ashamed."

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