PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL : December 8th, 2021
CNN Fires Chris Cuomo Amid Inquiry Into His Efforts to Aid His Brother
The network said it had “terminated him, effective immediately,” a move that came days after a lawyer for a former colleague accused the host of sexual misconduct.
The star anchor Chris Cuomo was fired by CNN on Saturday, completing a stunning downfall for the network’s top-rated host amid a continuing inquiry into his efforts to help his brother, Andrew M. Cuomo, then the governor of New York, stave off sexual harassment accusations.
The anchor was suspended on Tuesday after testimony and text messages released by the New York attorney general revealed a more intimate and engaged role in his brother’s political affairs than the network said it had previously known.
On Wednesday, Debra S. Katz, a prominent employment lawyer, informed CNN of a client with an allegation of sexual misconduct against Chris Cuomo. Ms. Katz said in a statement on Saturday that the allegation against the anchor, which was made by a former junior colleague at another network, was “unrelated to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo matter.”
It was not fully clear what role the allegation played in CNN’s decision to dismiss Mr. Cuomo. Ms. Katz is also the lawyer for Charlotte Bennett, a onetime aide to Andrew Cuomo who accused the former governor in February of sexual harassment.
Asked about the new allegation, a CNN spokeswoman said in a statement on Saturday night: “Based on the report we received regarding Chris’s conduct with his brother’s defense, we had cause to terminate. When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action.”
A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo, Steven Goldberg, said in a statement on Saturday, “These apparently anonymous allegations are not true.”
Ms. Katz said that her client “came forward because she was disgusted by Chris Cuomo’s on-air statements in response to the allegations made against his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.” Ms. Katz cited a March 1 broadcast in which Chris Cuomo said: “I have always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so. I just wanted to tell you that.”
Mr. Cuomo’s spokesman responded that the former anchor “fully stands by his on-air statements about his connection to these issues, both professionally and in a profoundly personal way. If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination.”
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