Media

Former co-worker accuses Chris Cuomo of sexual harassment in NYT essay

A former colleague of CNN's Chris Cuomo alleges in an essay published in The New York Times on Friday that he sexually harassed her at a 2005 party when the two both worked for ABC.

Shelley Ross, who was once Cuomo's executive producer for ABC's "Primetime Live," said that when Cuomo came to give her a hug during an ABC colleague's going away party, he grabbed her rear.

Ross wrote in the essay that the incident occurred when she was an executive producer for an ABC entertainment special but that she previously had been Cuomo's executive producer.

"I can do this now that you're no longer my boss," Cuomo allegedly told her, to which she responded, "No you can't." Ross said that she pushed him away and left with her husband, who had witnessed the encounter.

Cuomo sent her an email afterward which read in the subject line, "now that i think of it...i am shamed..." 

The essay in the Times included a copy of the email, which stated, "Though my hearty greeting was a function of being glad to see you ... christian slater got arrested for a (kind of) similar act (though borne of an alleged negative intent, unlike my own) ... and as a husband i can empathize with not liking to see my wife patted as such."

"So pass along my apology to your very good and noble husband ... and i apologize to you as well, for even putting you in such a position. next time, i will remember that lesson, no matter how happy i am to see you..." he added.

Shelley in her essay wrote that Cuomo's actions had belittled her.

"I never thought that Mr. Cuomo's behavior was sexual in nature. Whether he understood it at the time or not, his form of sexual harassment was a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle his female former boss in front of the staff," Shelley wrote.

"As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public setting when she was a top executive at ABC. I apologized to her then, and I meant it," Cuomo said in response to a request to comment on the essay, according to the Times. 

When asked for comment, a CNN spokesperson directed The Hill back to Cuomo's statement in The Times essay.  

The Hill has reached out to ABC for comment.

Cuomo's brother, Andrew Cuomo, recently stepped down as New York's governor following a bombshell report that he had sexually harassed multiple women.

Some criticized Chris Cuomo for advising his brother during the controversy, which CNN acknowledged was "inappropriate." 

Updated 11:33 a.m.

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