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Chris Cuomo: Suspension from CNN 'embarrassing'
CNN's Chris Cuomo said he is embarrassed after being suspended by the network on Tuesday following new revelations about his involvement in the campaign of his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), to defend himself from allegations of sexual harassment.
"It hurts to even say it. It's embarrassing. But I understand it. And I understand why some people feel the way they do about what I did. I've apologized in the past, and I mean it," Chris Cuomo said Wednesday on his weekday radio show on SiriusXM. "It's the last thing I ever wanted to do, was compromise any of my colleagues and do anything but help. I know they have a process that they think is important. I respect that process, so I'm not going to talk about this any more than that."
Chris Cuomo was suspended indefinitely Tuesday night from the network hours before his prime-time show was set to air after a spokesperson said the company was "not privy" to details of the situation, and that they "raise serious questions" about the anchor's conduct.
The prime-time host's involvement in crisis public relations sessions with his brother's top aides were first reported in May, but newly released documents by the New York Attorney General's Office in connection with an investigation of the former governor painted a broader picture about Chris Cuomo's efforts to help his brother beat back criticism.
In one case, a top aide to the former governor asked Chris Cuomo to "check with his sources" in the media about additional women coming forward with allegations against him, which the anchor confirmed in a reply message he would do.
In another message, Chris Cuomo texted the aide he had "a lead on the wedding girl" in an apparent reference to a woman who alleged Andrew Cuomo touched her inappropriately at a wedding.
The anchor in August apologized for advising his brother but said he "never made calls to the press about my brother's situation."
"I never influenced or attempted to control CNN's coverage of my family," Cuomo said. "And as you know, back in May when I was told to no longer communicate with my brother's aides in any group meetings, I acknowledged it was a mistake, I apologized to my colleagues, I stopped, and I meant it."
In the statement on Tuesday, CNN said it "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 network concluded. "As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation."
Chris Cuomo did not acknowledge the newly released documents during his show on Monday and did not discuss the details of the documents during the intro to his radio show on Wednesday.