Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Roberta Kaplan, activist attorney prominent in Jewish community, quits ‘Times Up’ over Cuomo conflict

(JTA) — Roberta Kaplan, the feminist lawyer who is prominent in New York’s Jewish community, is quitting “Time’s Up,” the group that has championed victims of sexual harassment, because of her role in advising an accused harasser, New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

In her letter Monday, first obtained by The New York Times, Kaplan said she could not provide the “transparency” required of a board member of Time’s Up, whose Legal Defense Fund she co-founded in 2017.

Last week New York Attorney General Letitia James issued results of an investigation of Cuomo corroborating the accounts of at least 11 women who accused the Democrat of sexual harassment.

She does not mention it in the letter, but Kaplan is legal counsel to Melissa DeRosa, the top Cuomo aide who allegedly retaliated against Cuomo’s accusers and who resigned this weekend. Kaplan also allegedly advised Cuomo on a never-published Op-Ed in which he responded to one of his accusers. Reports say she advised him not to smear the accuser but otherwise okayed it.

Kaplan helped establish marriage equality in the United States when she represented Edie Windsor, who sought full rights as the widow of her late wife, in a landmark 2013 case in which the Supreme Court ruled in Windsor’s favor. Windsor and her wife were Jewish and after winning the case, Kaplan delivered a drasha, or sermon, rooting her arguments in Jewish law, at Beit Simchat Torah, the LGBTQ congregation in Manhattan of which she is a member.

She also is leading a lawsuit against organizers of a neo-Nazi white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, and also has launched a number of lawsuits targeting former President Donald Trump.


The post Roberta Kaplan, activist attorney prominent in Jewish community, quits ‘Times Up’ over Cuomo conflict appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.