the fallout

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo, Effective Immediately

Photo: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutte

Update, Saturday, December 4 at 6:oo p.m.: Chris Cuomo has been terminated from CNN effective immediately, following his suspension earlier this week according to the network. CNN said in a statement, “Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense. We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately.” Cuomo released a statement following his termination: “This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”

The day after the New York attorney general’s office released transcripts showing that CNN host Chris Cuomo had helped chase down “intel” on reporters looking into sexual-harassment allegations against his brother, Cuomo has been suspended from the network indefinitely. In a statement provided by CNN, the network said the documents released on Monday “shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement” in the defense of his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo. “The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions,” the statement reads. “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.”

Transcripts from Attorney General Letitia James’s office showed that Chris Cuomo wrote to top gubernatorial aide Melissa DeRosa in March asking to “please let me help with the prep” as more women came forward accusing his brother of sexual misconduct. He also tried to dig up information on reports from Politico and The New Yorker prior to their publication. “I would — when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” he wrote. While it was previously known that the CNN host had helped the former governor on strategy regarding the allegations, the transcripts revealed a far greater level of involvement.

Chris Cuomo is not the only outside party to face blowback for advising the governor amid the sexual-misconduct scandal: In October, Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, was fired from the LGBTQ advocacy group for advising Cuomo on how to manage the crisis. In August, Tina Tchen left her role as president of the sexual-assault survivor’s advocacy organization Time’s Up after it emerged that she told her team to “stand down” from backing a former aide who accused Cuomo of harassment.

Update December 5: NPR is reporting that Chris Cuomo is facing sexual harassment allegations of his own. The day before Cuomo was officially fired from CNN, papers were filed in Washington D.C. supporting the sexual harassment allegations of one of Cuomo’s former co-workers at ABC News. The woman wishes to remain anonymous. “My client came forward at this time because she felt in sharing her story and related documentation, she could help protect other women,” Debra Katz said in a statement. Cuomo’s spokesperson Steven Goldberg denied the accusation in a statement to the New York Times, calling Cuomo’s firing “unwarranted.”

This isn’t the first allegation against Cuomo dating from his tenure at ABC News. Shelley Ross said that Cuomo groped her butt at a going away party, saying “I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss.”

CNN Fires Chris Cuomo, Effective Immediately