A new controversy surrounds CNN Host Chris Cuomo, who is accused of having sexually harassed his former boss when they worked together at ABC News in 2005.
Chris is the brother of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who, according to investigations, sexually harassed more than a dozen women in his work environment.
The new accusation hanging over the host’s head comes from former executive producer Shelley Ross who wrote an essay for the New York Times in which she recounted her story.
“At the time, I was the executive producer of an ABC entertainment special, but I was Mr. Cuomo’s executive producer at ‘Primetime Live’ just before that,” she wrote. She said that during a party, Chris Cuomo went so far as to approach her by hugging her tightly while reaching down to “squeeze the cheek of my buttock.”
Ross claims Cuomo told her, “I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss.” The journalist said that after the incident she and her husband left the party.
The seriousness of the matter is that Ross claims to have evidence against Chris Cuomo, as she printed a copy of an email where he assured her that he was “ashamed of his behavior”.
Cuomo’s email read, “[ T]hough my hearty greeting was a function of being glad to see you … christian slater got arrested for a (kind of) similar act, (though borne of an alleged negative intent, unlike my own)…and as a husband I can empathize with not liking to see my wife patted as such…”
Cuomo, who was 34 at the time of the alleged incident, asked Ross to pass along an apology to her “very good and noble husband.”
“Mr. Cuomo may say this is a sincere apology. I’ve always seen it as an attempt to provide himself with legal and moral coverage to evade accountability,” Ross wrote.
The journalist noted that she does not want Cuomo fired from CNN but said she was compelled to speak out after learning that Chris advised her brother not to talk to the press about the harassment allegations, and after he wore a “Truth” T-shirt shortly after the now-former governor’s departure.
Chris Cuomo admitted the facts
In a statement to the Times, Cuomo reiterated his apology to Ross and noted that his intent “was not sexual in nature.”
“As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public setting when she was a top executive at ABC. I apologized to her then, and I meant it,” Cuomo said.
This is not the first scandal involving the CNN journalist, in addition to having advised his brother not to report sexual harassment allegations, it was also known that he was a beneficiary of the New York governor’s prioritized Covid-19 testing, in the early months of the pandemic.