(UPI) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he was “truly sorry” if “some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,” after earlier in the day asking the New York state’s attorney general and chief judge to appoint an independent investigator to examine the allegations of sexual harassment made against him.

“To be clear I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody and I never intended to make an, 63, said in a statement released early Sunday night.

Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett, 25, told The New York Times in a report Saturday that he made several inappropriate remarks about her sex life.

Last week, Lindsey Boylan, a deputy secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo from 2015 to 2018, said the governor “sexually harassed me for years” in a post on Medium.

On Saturday, Cuomo had announced the appointment of a former federal judge to look into the allegations but members of his party, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said that wasn’t good enough.

“The governor’s office wants a review of the sexual harassment claims made against the governor to be done in a manner beyond reproach,” Beth Garvey, special counsel and senior adviser to Cuomo, said in a statement Sunday morning. “We had selected former federal judge Barbara Jones, with a stellar record for qualifications and integrity, but we want to avoid even the perception of a lack of independence or inference of politics.”

New York Attorney General Tish James, a Democrat, said she is prepared to lead an independent investigation into Cuomo.

“Allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously,” James said in a statement. “There must be a truly independent investigation to thoroughly review these troubling allegations against the governor, and I stand ready to oversee that investigation and make any appointments necessary.”

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