New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has resigned after an inquiry found that he sexually harassed multiple women, prompting efforts to remove him.
“The best way I can help now is if I step aside,” he said, while continuing to deny the claims. The resignation will take effect in 14 days.
Lt Governor Kathy Hochul will become the first woman to lead New York state.
Mr Cuomo had been facing pressure to resign from fellow Democrats, including President Joe Biden.
Just a year ago he was basking in adulation as millions of Americans tuned in daily to his no-nonsense televised briefings on the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Cuomo is the third New York governor in a row to leave office under a cloud of scandal.
The independent investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office found that Mr Cuomo, 63, sexually harassed 11 women, including state employees.
Women alleged that he made sexual comments, inappropriately touched or groped them, and kissed them without consent.
The report led many prominent Democrats to turn against Mr Cuomo, including Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Senate leader Chuck Schumer and New York’s two US senators.
His fellow New York Democrats had begun plans to impeach him. He is still facing criminal investigations relating to the harassment claims.
As he announced his resignation on Tuesday, Mr Cuomo continued to deny allegations of sexual harassment but said he wanted to “deeply, deeply” apologise to any women who may have been offended by his actions.
“In my mind I’ve never crossed the line with anyone. but I didn’t realise the extent to which the line has been redrawn,” he said.