Social media explodes after CNN’s Chris Cuomo accused of sexual harassment at former job
Twitter was set ablaze on Friday after CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was accused of sexual harassment by a veteran TV producer who worked with the “Cuomo Prime Time” namesake years ago when he was at ABC News.
In a guest essay for the New York Times, former executive producer Shelley Ross outlined an incident where Cuomo squeezed the cheek of her buttock without her permission in 2005. She also produced an email where he appeared to admit to the incident and apologize for his behavior.
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The CNN host, who came under fire this year for giving private advice to his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his sexual harassment scandal, was quickly slammed on social media once the Times essay went viral.
“This is a very powerful opinion piece. I commend Shelly Ross the for having the courage to write it. I’m not as hopeful that Chris Cuomo will change, though. He advised his brother about his sexual harassment accusations and his employer allowed it,” Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean, who has been an outspoken critic of the Cuomo family, tweeted.
Indeed, the Washington Post reported that Chris Cuomo participated in strategy calls with Gov. Cuomo’s top aides on how to address the harassment charges. Sources told the paper the younger Cuomo urged his brother to not step down and even invoked “cancel culture,” a talking point the governor used back in March while speaking with reporters.
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A report from New York Attorney General Letitia James would later note he was one of the trusted outside confidants whose commitment to protecting the governor contributed to Albany’s “toxic” workplace culture. Gov. Cuomo resigned from office last month.
Lindsey Boylan, who has accused former Gov. Cuomo of sexual harassment that the older Cuomo sibling denies, also praised Ross. Ross wrote she didn’t wish for Cuomo to be fired from CNN and instead urged him to use his platform to “journalistically repent” for his behavior.
“Thank you Shelley Ross. Your focus on accountability is exactly right,” Boylan wrote. “@ChrisCuomo will you hold yourself accountable?”
“The ‘Rules Don’t Apply To Me’ code often transcends specific topics. First, @ChrisCuomo violated journalistic standards by covering/ignoring his brother. Now he’s accused of sexual harassment at ABC,” far-left pundit Keith Olbermann tweeted.
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Dozens of prominent reporters and media pundits shared the Times essay, while many offered their thoughts on the situation:
CNN did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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In a statement to the Times, Cuomo reiterated his apology to Ross while noting their interaction 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.
Cuomo did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment by Fox News. He joined CNN in 2013 as its “New Day” morning show co-host after his stint at ABC News, which included roles with “20/20” and “Good Morning America.”
He began permanently hosting “Cuomo Prime Time” in 2018.
Fox News’ David Rutz contributed to this report.