ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A memoir from the top aide to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the deadliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an investigation that concluded he sexually harassed 11 women, will come out in the fall.
Union Square & Co. will release “What’s Left Unsaid: My Life at the Center of Power, Politics, and Crisis,” on Oct. 24.
Melissa DeRosa was secretary to the governor from 2017 until she resigned in August 2021, just before Cuomo announced his own resignation. She was the first woman to hold the powerful position — and was known for appearing at the governor’s side during his daily pandemic briefings, occasionally answering reporters’ detailed policy questions.
She was among Cuomo’s chief defenders, and a lightning rod for critics of how the administration handled the pandemic and harassment allegations against the governor. Cuomo has denied those allegations.
In a phone interview this week, DeRosa described the book as a chance for her to reflect, to set the record straight and to give an insider’s account of tumultuous events.
DeRosa says “nothing goes unaddressed” in the book.
“It’s my turn … to give a different perspective from the person who was in the room, from the person who lived it, not from someone who was sitting on the sidelines throwing stones,” she said.
She had been with the administration since 2013.
DeRosa declined to preview any of the “fly on the wall” accounts in the book or to give her current opinion of Cuomo, saying only that “he can defend himself.”
Early in the pandemic, Cuomo was widely viewed as a reassuring figure, but his administration came under fire after revelations that it had released an incomplete accounting of the number of deaths at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
In explaining the administration’s delays in releasing data, DeRosa had said officials “froze” over worries that the information was “going to be used against us” by then-President Donald Trump’s Justice Department.
DeRosa also was repeatedly mentioned in Attorney General Letitia James’ report investigating sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo. The report said DeRosa played a key role in trying to protect Cuomo from harassment claims.
“I think that a lot of people have had a lot to say that has gone unchallenged,” DeRosa said. “That ends in the fall when this book comes out.”