Chris Cuomo was charged with sexual misconduct before CNN sacked him
“That’s what the Cuomo brothers are giving us right now,” Zucker told The Times in April 2020.
The following year, as Andrew Cuomo faced a growing number of sexual harassment charges, Chris Cuomo recused himself from reporting the scandal, leaving a prime-time hole in CNN’s coverage of what was turning out to be national news.
At the same time, away from the anchor office, Chris Cuomo was participating in strategy sessions with the governor’s main staff. It also emerged that Andrew Cuomo had made arrangements for his brother’s Covid tests to receive priority treatment by the state. CNN failed to discipline Chris Cuomo and at one point offered the presenter time off if he wanted to help his brother more formally.
After Andrew Cuomo resigned, Chris Cuomo defended himself on the August 16 episode of his show. “I’m not a counselor, I’m a brother,” said Anchor. “I have never attacked or encouraged anyone to attack a woman who has come forward. I never called the press about my brother’s situation.
But the new batch of testimony and text messages suggested that Mr. Cuomo had functioned as an advisor and had contacted reporters. “When asked, I contacted sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anyone else,” he told investigators.
In September, another former colleague, Shelley Ross, who had worked with Mr. Cuomo at ABC News, described a case where the presenter touched her inappropriately at a rally in 2005. In an essay published in the Opinion section of The Times, Ms. Ross wrote that Mr. Cuomo “greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering a hand to firmly grasp and squeeze the cheek of my butt.”
In a response published by The Times as part of the trial, Mr Cuomo said, “As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not of a sexual nature. This happened 16 years ago in a public setting while she was a senior executive at ABC. I apologized to her at that point, and I really meant it.
Ms Ross had been Mr Cuomo’s boss at ABC News prior to the incident she described; At the rally, she wrote, Mr. Cuomo told her, “I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss.” She wrote that she was inspired to publish the essay in part because Mr. Cuomo had “escaped responsibility” for advising his brother while he was working as a CNN presenter, and also because of statements made by him. ‘he had made on March 1 in which he spoke of being “very deeply” concerned about the issue of sexual harassment.