A veteran tv journalist accused CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday of as soon as sexually harassing her after they labored collectively at ABC News and she or he feels the “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake must “journalistically repent” for his habits.
In a guest essay for the New York Times, former govt producer Shelley Ross outlined an incident the place Cuomo, who got here underneath fireplace this yr for giving non-public recommendation to his brother New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo throughout his sexual harassment scandal, squeezed the cheek of her buttock with out her permission in 2005. She additionally produced an e mail the place Chris Cuomo appeared to confess to the incident and apologize for his habits.
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“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. “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.”
Ross mentioned Cuomo advised her, “I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss”, and did it “with a kind of cocky arrogance.” Ross mentioned she advised him he could not, pushed him off her and revealed her husband was proper behind her, they usually rapidly left the get together, which was celebrating an ABC colleague’s departure.
Ross printed a replica of an e mail from Cuomo the identical night the place he mentioned he was “ashamed” of his habits and even famous actor Christian Slater had been arrested for related conduct.
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“[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,” he wrote.
Cuomo, who was 34 at the time of the alleged incident, requested Ross to move alongside an apology to her “very good and noble husband,” and likewise “I apologize to you as well, for even putting you in such a position.” He added he would bear in mind his lesson the following time he was comfortable to see her.
CNN didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Ross wrote she did not want for Cuomo to be fired from CNN, the place he is labored since 2013. However, she famous his rhetoric in March while addressing his brother’s political scandal, the place he claimed to care “very deeply about these issues.” That day, Cuomo mentioned he wouldn’t cowl the harassment expenses towards his brother, after he was allowed to do pleasant interviews with him at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Two months later, the Washington Post reported that Chris Cuomo participated in technique calls with Gov. Cuomo’s prime aides on methods to handle the harassment expenses. Sources advised the paper the youthful Cuomo urged his brother to not step down and even invoked “cancel culture,” a speaking level the governor used again in March while participating with reporters.
A report from New York Attorney General Letitia James would later notice he was one of the trusted outdoors confidants whose dedication to defending the governor contributed to Albany’s “toxic” office tradition. Gov. Cuomo resigned from workplace final month.
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Between that, and a picture of Chris Cuomo carrying a “Truth” t-shirt shortly after his brother’s exit from workplace, Ross mentioned she was compelled to talk out.
“For me, his statement of profound concern about sexual harassment and his ‘Truth’ T-shirt were provocations in this era of personal accountability,” she wrote.
In a press release to the Times, Cuomo reiterated his apology to Ross while noting their interplay 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 mentioned.
Cuomo didn’t instantly reply to a request for extra remark by Fox News.
While sexual misconduct accusations resulted in Andrew Cuomo stepping down as governor, Ross doesn’t need the youthful sibling to lose his job. Instead, she hopes that he makes use of his platform to “journalistically repent” for his habits.
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“I’m not asking for Mr. Cuomo to become the next casualty in this continuing terrible story. I hope he stays at CNN forever if he chooses. I would, however, like to see him journalistically repent: agree on air to study the impact of sexism, harassment and gender bias in the workplace, including his own, and then report on it,” Ross wrote. “He could host a series of live town hall meetings, with documentary footage, produced by women with expert consultants. Call it ‘The Continuing Education of Chris Cuomo’ and make this a watershed moment instead of another stain on the career of one more powerful male news anchor.”
Cuomo has created unfavorable headlines and unhealthy publicity for CNN frequently for the reason that COVID pandemic started in 2020. He was broadly mocked for conducting a collection of playful interviews together with his huge brother at the peak of the pandemic while the governor’s state was in disaster. The two of them would chide one another’s seems to be, carry out prop comedy and bicker over their affection for his or her mom, however the anchor would additionally give the governor a platform to tout his management amid the pandemic. The interviews occurred as critics scolded the CNN host for ignoring the state’s COVID nursing dwelling disaster earlier than he lastly lobbed a softball query about it after skipping it throughout a number of appearances.
Cuomo was beforehand barred from masking the New York governor, a rule that was apparently lifted by the community at the start of the pandemic and later carried out once more because the Democrat grew to become engulfed in a tsunami of political scandals.
Earlier this yr, it was revealed that Chris Cuomo was a beneficiary of the Cuomo administration as he acquired prioritized COVID testing within the early months of the pandemic as atypical New Yorkers struggled.
The youthful Cuomo was in the end identified with the virus again in March 2020. It is unknown if the constructive COVID check he took was funded by himself, his employer, or by New York taxpayers.
Amid his restoration in April, he was caught breaking quarantine and was seen outdoors on one other property within the Hamptons, which was in clear violation of his brother’s COVID pointers. That led to an altercation between the anchor and the bicyclist who known as him out. The bicyclist later filed a police report. Also in April, the CNN anchor bizarrely staged his personal re-emergence from the basement of his Hamptons dwelling after his outside scuffle was broadly reported.
In August, Cuomo noticeably ignored allegations towards his brother on the air, elevating questions on CNN’s dedication to moral journalism, earlier than lastly making a press release as soon as Andrew Cuomo introduced he would step down.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.
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