A former ABC govt producer has accused Chris Cuomo of sexually harassing her at a 2005 work party after he grabbed her butt in entrance of her husband and associates — and he later known as it a “hearty greeting.”
She mentioned Cuomo despatched an e mail within the aftermath telling her he was “ashamed” — however shortly tried to point out his actions had been totally different from an actor accused of doing the identical to a stranger on the road.
Ross mentioned she was working as an govt producer of an ABC leisure program at the time, however had been Cuomo’s boss on ABC’s “Primetime Live” simply prior.
“I was at the party with my husband, who sat behind me on an ottoman sipping his Diet Coke as I spoke with work friends. When Mr. Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar, he walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock,” she mentioned.
“’I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’” he mentioned to me with a sort of cocky conceitedness. “’No you can’t,’” I mentioned, pushing him off me at the chest whereas stepping again, revealing my husband, who had seen all the episode at shut vary. We shortly left.”
Cuomo then despatched Ross an e mail, dated June 1, 2005, with the topic title: “Now that I think of it … I am ashamed.”
He in contrast his actions to “Heathers” actor Christian Slater, who had been arrested a month earlier for sexually harassing a girl on a New York City avenue after grabbing her butt. The fees towards Slater had been later dropped.
“Though 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 wrote.
“So cross alongside my apology to your excellent and noble husband … and I apologize to you as properly, for ever placing you in such a place.
“Next time, I will remember the lesson, no matter how happy I am to see you.”
It wasn’t instantly clear how quickly after the party Cuomo despatched the e-mail.
Ross, in her op-ed, questioned whether or not Cuomo was ashamed as a result of of his actions or solely as a result of her husband witnessed it. She additionally claimed Cuomo tried to “legally differentiate” his habits from that of Slater.
“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 mentioned.
“I never thought that Mr. Cuomo’s behavior was sexual in nature. Whether he understood it at the time or not, his form of sexual harassment was a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle his female former boss in front of the staff.”
Cuomo mentioned in an announcement relating to the allegations: “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.”
Ross acknowledged she didn’t need Cuomo to lose his job, however mentioned he wanted to be held accountable within the wake of his involvement in his brother Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal.
The prime-time CNN character was amongst a handful of individuals consulting the disgraced former governor as he tried to salvage his profession within the wake of the lawyer normal’s bombshell report accusing him of sexually harassing 11 ladies.
There had been widespread requires CNN to fireside the youthful Cuomo within the aftermath.
“If Mr. Cuomo and CNN management don’t think he crossed a serious line, one that warrants consequences, I know he crossed a line with me,” Ross mentioned.