CNN suspends Chris Cuomo for role in his brother’s defense
Dec 01, 2021 - 01:54 AM
WASHINGTON (AA) – CNN suspended its anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely on Tuesday over his role in defending his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, over sexual harassment claims.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the network said New York Attorney General Letitia James “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,” said the spokesperson. “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,” the spokesperson added. “As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
The suspension came hours after one of the former governor’s accusers, Charlotte Bennett, called on CNN to sack his brother. Bennett accused her former boss of sexually harassing her when she worked for him.
“Anything short of firing Chris Cuomo reflects a network lacking both morals and a backbone,” Bennett said in a statement.
In September, Shelley Ross, a former executive at ABC News, alleged that Chris Cuomo once grabbed her inappropriately during a party 16 years ago.
Cuomo joined CNN in 2013 and has since had the top-rated nightly newscast on the network.
Cuomo advised his brother Andrew during his sexual harassment scandal this year. Andrew Cuomo resigned in August after years of sexual harassment allegations surfaced. He fought the allegations by saying that while he made mistakes, he never meant to harass anyone and often kissed and hugged both men and women.