Just weeks after his brother Andrew Cuomo was ousted from the New York governor's office and mansion over allegations of rampant sexual harassment, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is facing his own scandal.
Writing in the New York Times, former ABC News Executive Producer Shelley Ross accuses Cuomo of inappropriately touching her, which was witness by her husband. Shortly after the incident, Cuomo emailed Ross and admitted to the behavior.
“Now that I think of it … I am ashamed,” read the subject line of a 2005 email Mr. Cuomo wrote me, one hour after he sexually harassed me at a going-away party for an ABC colleague. 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. 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.
“I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,” he said to me with a kind of cocky arrogance. “No you can’t,” I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left.
I have no grudge against Mr. Cuomo; I’m not looking for him to lose his job. Rather, this is an opportunity for him and his employer to show what accountability can look like in the MeToo era. Accountability has been the cornerstone of the MeToo movement, leading to tangible results and even justice, consequences for harassers and the possibility of real change. Accountability has been clear in the wake of the New York State attorney general’s investigation into Governor Cuomo, which not only outlined instances of sexual harassment and mistreatment of at least 11 women by him but also identified an inner circle of advisers who helped guide him through this political and legal crisis. I call them the enablers. The official report documented the inner workings of these people, including Mr. Cuomo, and laid out their strategies and tactics to protect the governor.
Chris Cuomo regularly advised, through official government channels, Andrew Cuomo on how to combat sexual harassment allegations. In fact, he wrote and approved official statements put out by the governor's office.
On the left, an email showing CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo involved in crafting a statement for Governor Andrew Cuomo on February 28, 2021.— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) August 3, 2021
On the right, the official statement released by the Governor's office on February 28, 2021. pic.twitter.com/ymL9P29puK
Chris Cuomo hasn't responded publicly to the op-ed.