CNN’s Chris Cuomo accused of sexually harassing producer on ABC News

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A veteran television reporter on Friday accused CNN’s Chris Cuomo of sexually harassing her once while working together at ABC News and she believes the namesake “Cuomo Prime Time” must “journalistically repent” of her. behviour.

In a guest essay for the New York Times, former executive producer Shelley Ross described an incident where Cuomo, who was criticized this year for giving private advice to his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his sexual harassment scandal, hugged him plays butt without her permission in 2005. She also produced an email in which Chris Cuomo appeared to admit the incident and apologize for his behavior.

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“At the time, I was the executive producer of an entertainment special on ABC, but I was Mr. Cuomo’s executive producer on ‘Primetime Live’ right before that,” she wrote. “I was at the party with my husband, who was sitting behind me on an ottoman sipping his Diet Coke while I chatted with some work friends. When Mr. Cuomo walked into the Upper West Side bar, he walked over to me and greeted me with a powerful bear hug while lowering a hand to firmly grasp and squeeze the cheek of my butt. “

A veteran television reporter on Friday accused CNN’s Chris Cuomo of once sexually harassing her while they worked together at ABC News.

Ross said Cuomo told him, “I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss” and did it “with a sort of arrogant arrogance.” Ross said she told him he couldn’t, pushed him away and revealed her husband was right behind her, and they quickly left the party, which was celebrating the departure of an ABC colleague. .

Ross printed a copy of an email from Cuomo the same night he said he was “ashamed” of his behavior and even noted actor Christian Slater had been arrested for similar behavior.

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“[T]Although my cordial greetings depend on being happy to see you… Christian Slater was arrested for a (somehow) similar act (although born of an alleged negative intention, unlike mine)… and in as a husband, I can empathize with not liking to see my wife cuddled as such, “he wrote.

Cuomo, who was 34 at the time of the alleged incident, asked Ross to apologize to her “very good and noble husband,” and also “I apologize to you too, for even putting you in. such a position. ” He added that he would remember his lesson the next time he was happy to see it.

“Mr. Cuomo can say it’s a heartfelt apology. I’ve always seen this as an attempt to provide legal and moral cover to escape liability,” Ross wrote.

CNN did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ross wrote that she didn’t want Cuomo fired from CNN, where he has worked since 2013. However, she noted his rhetoric in March while addressing his brother’s political scandal, where he said he cares “very deeply. of these problems “. That day, Cuomo said he would not cover the harassment charges against his brother, after being allowed to do friendly talks with him at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two months later, The Washington Post reported that Chris Cuomo had participated in strategic appeals with key aides to Governor Cuomo on how to handle harassment accusations. Sources told the newspaper that young Cuomo urged his brother not to quit and even pleaded “Cancel culture”, a talking point the governor used in March when speaking to reporters.

A report by New York Attorney General Letitia James will later note that he was one of the trusted outside confidants whose commitment to protecting the governor contributed to Albany’s “toxic” work culture. Governor Cuomo resigned from his post last month.

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Between that and an image of Chris Cuomo wearing a “Truth” t-shirt shortly after her brother left the office, Ross said she was compelled to speak out.

“To me, his statement of deep concern about sexual harassment and his ‘Truth’ t-shirt were provocations in this era of personal accountability,” she wrote.

In a statement to The Times, Cuomo reiterated his apologies to Ross while noting that their interaction was “not of a sexual nature.”

As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not of a sexual nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public place while she was a senior executive at ABC. I then apologized to her and I did. thought, ”Cuomo said.

Cuomo did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from Fox News.

While accusations of sexual misconduct have resulted in Andrew Cuomo’s resignation as governor, Ross doesn’t want the younger brother to lose his job. Instead, she hopes he will use his platform to “journalistically repent” of her behavior.

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“I am not asking Mr. Cuomo to become the next victim of this terrible continuing story. I hope he will stay at CNN forever if he wishes. I would however like to see him repent of the plan. Journalistic: Accepting on-air to study the impact of sexism, harassment and gender bias in the workplace, including your own, and then report back, ”Ross wrote. “He could organize a series of live town hall meetings, with documentary footage, produced by women with expert consultants. Call it ‘Chris Cuomo’s Continuing Education’ and make it a watershed moment instead of another task. on the career of a more powerful male news anchor. “

Cuomo has regularly created negative headlines and bad publicity for CNN since the COVID pandemic began in 2020. He has been widely mocked for conducting a series of playful interviews with his big brother during the height of the pandemic then that the governor’s state was in crisis. The two would scold each other, play prop comedy, and bicker over their affection for their mother, but the anchor would also give the governor a platform to boast about his leadership amid the pandemic. The talks came as critics berated the CNN host for ignoring the state’s COVID nursing home crisis before finally asking the softball about it after ignoring her in multiple appearances.

CNN's Chris Cuomo performed a prop comedy with his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a widely aired segment in 2020.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo performed a prop comedy with his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a widely aired segment in 2020.

Cuomo was previously banned from covering up for the governor of New York, a rule that was apparently lifted by the network at the start of the pandemic and later implemented again as the Democrat engulfed in a tsunami of political scandals.

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Earlier this year, it was revealed that Chris Cuomo was a beneficiary of the Cuomo administration as he received priority COVID tests during the first months of the pandemic as ordinary New Yorkers struggled.

Young Cuomo was diagnosed with the virus in March 2020. It is not known whether the positive COVID test he took was funded by himself, his employer, or New York taxpayers.

In the midst of his recovery in April, he was caught breaking quarantine and was seen outside on another Hamptons property, which was clearly in violation of his brother’s COVID guidelines. This led to an altercation between the anchor and the cyclist who stopped him. The cyclist then filed a police report. Also in April, the CNN presenter bizarrely staged his own re-emergence from the basement of his Hamptons home after his outdoor brawl was widely reported.

In August, Cuomo largely ignored the allegations against his on-air brother, raising questions about CNN’s commitment to ethical journalism, before finally making a statement once Andrew Cuomo announced he was going. would withdraw.

Joseph A. Wulfsohn of Fox News contributed to this report.


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