Gov. Paterson was spotted nuzzling, neck-kissing and cooing like a smitten schoolboy with a pretty young woman -- not his wife -- in a New Jersey steakhouse yesterday afternoon, The Post has learned.
"I saw him kissing her neck," said Sharon Farrell, a lawyer sitting two tables away from Paterson and his mystery gal pal at the River Palm Terrace in Edgewater. "He was right on her neck, nudging, like back and forth."
Paterson's spokeswoman later said the governor's dining partner was just a friend, and that he never got romantic with her.
The governor himself told The Post that the woman "works with me."
'JUST FRIENDS': Gov. Paterson chatted with a fellow diner yesterday as a mystery woman (left) he was seen allegedly nuzzling stands aside. At right, the governor reacts to a Post lensman snapping away.
But Farrell said, "No way it was a business meeting . . . It was very intimate."
Farrell's friend and dining companion, special-ed teacher Carol McGuirt, said Paterson and his lady friend, a leggy Latina in her 20s, were ensconced in a cozy, curved banquette for several hours during lunch, and clearly were enjoying each other's company -- immensely.
"A young, young girl was with him," McGuirt said of Paterson, who was stylishly accoutered in a shiny purple dress shirt and slacks. "I would say they looked like a young couple who are very into each other . . . and enjoying themselves."
"She was very attractive," McGuirt said of Paterson's friend. "They were very close together. He was leaning over and very touching. They were like teenagers."
Coincidentally, or not, the same steakhouse has been frequented by Eliot Spitzer -- whose 2008 resignation as governor after being exposed as a prostitute-loving horn-dog put Paterson in charge of the Empire State.
On the day Paterson was sworn in, he confessed he had carried on extramarital affairs in the past, as had his wife, Michelle.
Paterson made some effort to keep a low profile yesterday, McGuirt said.
"Every time I went to the ladies room and I came back, he put his head down and his hand over his head," she said.
Still, McGuirt said. "He was laying up against her . . . they were up against each other in every intimate way."
When a Post photographer entered the eatery after being tipped to the pair's presence, and sat down at McGuirt's and Farrell's table, the governor got up and walked over to the women.
As the lensman snapped a photo, Paterson said, unprompted, "She works with me."
His spokeswoman Marissa Shorenstein said, "Gov. Paterson was having lunch with a friend at a public restaurant and any insinuation of improper behavior is absolutely false."
Asked whether the governor was kissing the woman on the neck between bites, Shorenstein responded, "He says that's absolutely false."
Shorenstein refused to identify the woman but said she is not a state employee.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/dave_latina_lovely_sRI4hN1iRjRomshAacs3PM#ixzz0ctAXuaRz
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