Shelley Ross, the veteran TV producer who accused Chris Cuomo of sexual harassment, suggested CNN’s suspension of its star anchor isn’t enough to hold him accountable for his involvement in his brother’s scandals.
“There is more to accountability than a suspension,” Ross told Fox News. “Chris Cuomo has always maintained he was not an adviser, he was a brother. He lied to CNN and his viewers. He needs to publicly acknowledge his wrongdoing to women, to victims of sexual harassment, assault and gender bias, to his colleagues, to the other journalists he compromised or tried to, and to the viewers he misled.”
Ross went public in September penning a guest essay in the New York Times alleging that Cuomo squeezed her buttock at a work function in 2005 while the two of them were colleagues at ABC News. She shared the email he had sent to her apologizing for the incident.
She knocked CNN over its statement announcing it was “indefinitely” suspending Cuomo, calling it a “meaningless word” to the network.
“When he’s invited back, he still should be assigned a series on sexual harassment and ethics in the workplace,” Ross said.
Fox News asked Ross if her comments meant she did not expect Cuomo to be fired as a result, to which she replied, “No, given CNN’s great depth of forgiveness of sex offenses.”
Calls for the “Cuomo Prime Time” host to be fired intensified on Monday after newly-released documents showed he was far more involved in aiding his embattled brother Andrew Cuomo than he previously disclosed to viewers.
Transcripts from his interview with investigators from New York Attorney General’s office show the CNN star admitting he would reach out to media sources to find out about new accusers who have yet to come forward publicly.
“When asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” Cuomo told investigators.
Cuomo’s admission contradicts what he told CNN viewers in August when he claimed, “I never made calls to the press about my brother’s situation.”
Three days after the New York Times broke the story about Anna Ruch, who alleged the governor sexually harassed her at a 2019 wedding reception, the CNN anchor texted top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa, “I have a lead on the wedding girl.”
CNN’s Chris Cuomo performed prop comedy with his brother New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a widely panned segment in 2020. (CNN)
In another exchange, DeRosa texted to Cuomo, “Rumor going around from politico 1-2 more ppl coming out tomorrow,” then asking him “Can u check your sources?”
Cuomo replied “on it,” later writing back “No one has heard that yet.”
The CNN anchor snooped into the progress of Ronan Farrow’s reporting about his brother and relayed it to the governor’s inner circle.
CNN’s most popular program in October was the scandal-plagued “Cuomo Prime Time,” which averaged 811,000 nightly viewers to finish behind 15 Fox News and seven MSNBC programs. (CNN)
He admitted to contacting colleagues of Farrow for updates but claimed it was simply “business-as-usual” to employ such methods. Text messages released by state investigators showed DeRosa asking about “intel the CNN anchor had about Farrow’s report on March 15, to which he replied it wasn’t ready for publication. Farrow’s story was eventually published on March 18.
Additionally, the transcript from investigators’ interview with Democratic strategist and Andrew Cuomo ally Lis Smith showed Chris Cuomo had forwarded her documents regarding the governor’s second accuser Charlotte Bennett and her “time in college.”