On Tuesday, CNN suspended Chris Cuomo “indefinitely, pending further evaluation” after new information was revealed detailing the help he gave his brother ex-Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo in handling numerous sexual misconduct allegations.
“Chris Cuomo was actively in touch with Melissa DeRosa, who was the then-governor’s top aide, about incoming media reports that detailed alleged sexual harassment by Andrew Cuomo, according to exhibits from the Attorney General’s probe and a transcript of his interview with the state’s investigators,” CNBC reported. “He also lobbied to help the governor’s office as it sought to weather the storm of accusations, and he dictated statements for the then-governor to use.”
“Please let me help with the prep,” Chris Cuomo asked DeRosa in a message in from early March. Then, three days after a New York Times report from March explained how Andrew Cuomo attempted to forcefully kiss a woman, Anna Ruch, at a wedding, Chris Cuomo texted DeRosa, “I have a lead on the wedding girl.”
Quickly after the new was publicized, CNN issued a comment saying they would be reviewing the information.
“The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration,” CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said. “We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days.”
After reviewing, CNN announced Chris Cuomo’s suspension a statement, saying, “The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense. The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.
When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
In August, Andrew Cuomo resigned after an independent investigation found he had “sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees.”
The former New York governor’s scandal began in December 2020, when the first of 11 women accused him of sexual misconduct. The victims, who were mostly his employees, said Cuomo engaged in sexually aggressive behavior including nonconsensual kissing, groping, inappropriate invitations to play strip poker and comments about their sex lives.
The investigation found that “the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.”
The investigation additionally “revealed that the Governor’s sexually harassing behavior was not limited to members of his own staff, but extended to other State employees, including a State Trooper on his protective detail and members of the public.” It concluded that Cuomo created a culture “filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor’s frequent flirtations and gender-based comments” which “contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist.”
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