Chris Cuomo: ‘This is not how I want my time at CNN to end’
Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who was terminated by the network Saturday night, said following the announcement that he had been fired over helping in his brother during a sexual harassment scandal, “This is not how I want my time at CNN to end.”
Noting that he had already explained “why and how I helped my brother,” he added that “as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”
— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) December 4, 2021
CNN confirmed on Saturday that it had terminated Cuomo from the network after suspending him earlier this week following revelations about his involvement in helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), handle sexual harassment allegations made against him.
“We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate,” CNN said in a statement on Saturday.
Documents that were released by New York Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) office indicated that the former CNN anchor had played a larger role in the former governor’s sexual harassment case than was previously known.
Those documents revealed that he had communicated with former aides to his brother. In one text message, an aide asked him to “check with his sources” in the media regarding other women considering coming forward with allegations against the former governor.
In another text message included in the documents, the then-anchor told an aide he had “a lead on the wedding girl” — likely a reference to one woman who accused the former governor of inappropriately touching her at a wedding.
After it came to light that the former network anchor had some involvement in his brother’s sexual harassment case, Cuomo issued an on-air apology in August, saying, “I never influenced or attempted to control CNN’s coverage of my family.”
“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,” he added.
However, the network said on Tuesday when it suspended Chris Cuomo following the reveal of the documents that it had not previously been aware of the full extent of his involvement.
“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,” the network said on Tuesday.
“However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew.”