Almost one year ago, women began to tell their stories about New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo had been a powerful figure in New York politics for years, and he had abused his power for years too, especially when it came to female subordinates and random women he met at parties and government functions. He was too handsy and he often crossed the line into sexual harassment, intimidation and abuse. By August of this year, the New York attorney general had concluded the state’s investigation and surprise, there were eleven women with credible claims against Cuomo. He ended up resigning within days of the AG’s report. This week, the AG released depositions and details from the Cuomo investigation and surprise, Andrew Cuomo’s brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, used his position in the media to help the governor target and harass victims. CNN finally suspended Chris Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo will be suspended indefinitely from CNN, the network said on Tuesday.
“The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense,” a spokesperson for CNN tells PEOPLE. “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. 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.”
On Monday, the New York Attorney General released new records, which consisted of texts, emails, and transcripts from the 51-year-old Cuomo Prime Time host’s testimony amid sexual harassment allegations against his brother Andrew, former governor of New York.
The documents revealed that Chris played a much larger role in the defense strategy of his brother, 63. It was also revealed that the CNN news anchor was in constant contact with Melissa DeRosa, one of Andrew’s former top aides, and that Chris had rewritten his brother’s original statement pertaining to the sexual harassment claims from one of Andrew’s former aides, Charlotte Bennett.
The records show that Chris used his media sources to try and get information on other women who accused Andrew of sexual harassment, including Anna Ruch, who told The New York Times that the former governor made an unwanted advance on her at a wedding. Days after the NYT report was published, Chris texted DeRosa, 38, that he “had a lead on the wedding girl.”
“I would — when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” Chris admitted to investigators in his deposition. “I was frequently in contact when we would hear word that there were other people coming out. Or there was more to be learned about somebody, I would talk to other journalists to hear what they had heard.”
In light of Chris’ suspension from CNN, Anderson Cooper will anchor the 9 P.M. slot on the network, CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy wrote on Twitter.
What’s completely bonkers to me is that CNN never asked Chris Cuomo to construct a Chinese wall between his work at CNN and his family. Even before the Gov. Cuomo’s first victims came out, it was clear that Chris Cuomo needed to be sidelined when it came to reporting on his brother and anything involving New York state politics. Why didn’t CNN deal with the Cuomos then? By failing to set boundaries, CNN allowed this to happen. Imagine how unsafe Andrew Cuomo’s victims feel now and felt at the time, knowing they were going on the record about what Gov. Cuomo (arguably the most powerful man in New York, and one of the most powerful men in the Democratic Party at the time) had done to them, only to have your personal information disseminated by the governor’s CNN-employed brother? While the Cuomos are utter trash, CNN needs to change their own professional ethics policies. I’m really disgusted that the Cuomos’ victims were treated this way. It’s appalling.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.