Lawyer: Chris Cuomo accuser was disgusted by ‘hypocrisy’

Dec 5, 2021, 12:23 PM | Updated: Dec 6, 2021, 10:03 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A woman who lodged a sexual harassment allegation against former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was “disgusted” by what she saw as his hypocrisy and attempts to discredit women who made similar allegations against his brother, her lawyer said Sunday.

The woman’s complaint became known shortly after CNN fired the “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor Saturday night. Chris Cuomo had been criticized for breaching journalistic ethics by trying to help his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, beat his own harassment charges.

The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, took her allegations against Chris Cuomo to CNN on Wednesday through her lawyer, Debra Katz.

Katz did not give any specifics about the alleged behavior, believed to have occurred before Cuomo joined CNN in 2013. Prior to that, he worked at ABC News.

Chris Cuomo, through a spokesman, said the charges were untrue. “If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination,” the spokesman said.

Katz also tied Cuomo’s firing to the accusations, saying in a statement that “CNN acted promptly on my client’s complaint and fired Mr. Cuomo.”

CNN suspended Cuomo on Tuesday after learning through documents released by New York’s attorney general that his actions in support of his brother were more extensive than previously known. A law firm was hired by CNN to look into Cuomo’s actions, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, then determined the network had cause to fire him.

With the new misconduct allegations, the network had little taste for another investigation and CNN chief Jeff Zucker informed Cuomo of the firing on Saturday.

Katz said in Sunday’s statement that her client was motivated by Cuomo’s statements, regarding allegations against his brother, that he cared deeply and profoundly about issues of sexual misconduct. The woman also believed that Cuomo “played an active role in attempting to smear women” who had accused his brother, she said.

“Hearing the hypocrisy of Chris Cuomo’s on-air words and disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women, my client retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct to CNN,” the lawyer said.

The new misconduct allegation comes after a veteran TV executive, Shelley Ross, wrote a column for The New York Times in September saying Chris Cuomo had groped her at a party 16 years ago, when they both worked for ABC News. Cuomo told the newspaper “I apologized to her then, and I meant it.”

In responding to criticism of his actions regarding his brother, Cuomo has said that he was simply trying to help him — telling his CNN audience shortly after Andrew Cuomo resigned in August that “it’s never easy being in this business and coming from a political family.”

“I never attacked, nor encouraged anyone to attack, any woman who came forward,” Cuomo said on the air. “I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.”

However, in an email from last March newly released by the New York attorney general, Cuomo told one of his brother’s aides that “I have a lead on the wedding girl.” It was in reference to a woman who said in news reports she was uncomfortable with how the governor touched her when they met at a wedding.

Chris Cuomo, in testimony to Attorney General Letitia James’ investigators, explained that a “source” had called him and suggested that maybe the accuser had “been put up to” making the accusation. He relayed that to his brother’s aides, however they told him the woman had made her discomfort known soon after it happened.

Cuomo also testified to investigators — a month before he told CNN viewers he had not called the press about his brother’s situation — that he had reached out privately to media figures to find out if there would be other accusers.

Cuomo has said he never tried to influence his own network’s coverage of his brother’s problems, and no evidence has emerged that he did.

His firing leaves a hole in CNN’s weeknight lineup. Even while competing in the same time slot with industry heavyweights Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, Cuomo was generally the most-watched personality on CNN.

Michael Smerconish will substitute for him this week.

___

Associated Press reporter David Porter contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Jury convicts Wisconsin man in fatal hate crime crash

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — A jury in Wisconsin has convicted a man accused of intentionally targeting a motorcyclist in a fatal crash because of the victim’s race, in a two-phase trial that will eventually determine the defendant’s mental state at the time. Daniel Navarro, a 27-year-old Mexican American from Fond du Lac, was […]
11 hours ago
A firetruck is on site at a deadly fire at a large oil storage facility in Matanzas, Cuba, Tuesday,...
Associated Press

2nd firefighter dies as Cuba controls big oil facility fire

HAVANA (AP) — Officials said Thursday that a second firefighter has died in Cuba, where crews have controlled a massive blaze that began last week at a key oil storage facility amid a deepening energy crisis. The 24-year-old firefighter identified as Elier Correa had been hospitalized in extremely critical condition, according to government news site […]
11 hours ago
FILE. - The Flint water plant tower is seen, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, in Flint, Mich. Jurors heard f...
Associated Press

Jury can’t reach verdict in engineers’ Flint water trial

DETROIT (AP) — A judge declared a mistrial Thursday after jurors said they couldn’t reach a verdict in a dispute over whether two engineering firms should bear some responsibility for Flint’s lead-contaminated water. Four families accused Veolia North America and Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, known as LAN, of not doing enough to get Flint to […]
11 hours ago
The sun set behind a tower that is used by the the rescue team to enter to the mine where miners ar...
Associated Press

Initial dives in collapsed Mexican mine unsuccessful

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Rescue divers’ first attempts to reach 10 miners trapped inside a flooded coal mine since last week were stopped by debris-filled shafts and poor visibility, Mexican authorities said Thursday. They made four attempts Wednesday and managed to remove more than a dozen pieces of wood and some 15 yards of hose, […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Armed man approaches FBI office, exchanges gunfire with cops

CINCINNATI (AP) — An armed man decked out in body armor tried to breach a security screening area at an FBI field office in Ohio on Thursday, then fled and exchanged gunfire in a standoff with law enforcement, authorities said. The confrontation at the FBI’s Cincinnati field office comes as officials warn of an increase […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Man arrested in death of co-worker at Michigan GM plant

ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A cleaning service employee who was working at a General Motors plant in Michigan was killed Thursday during an altercation with a co-worker, authorities said. It’s not clear what led to the fight at the Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township or how the person was killed. Authorities said they […]
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Lawyer: Chris Cuomo accuser was disgusted by ‘hypocrisy’