Shelley Ross, a former executive producer at ABC News, has accused CNN’s Chris Cuomo of sexually harassing her when the pair worked together at the network.
Ross revealed her claims in a guest essay for the New York Times.
She accuses Cuomo, the younger brother of scandal-plagued ex-NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, of squeezing her buttocks without her permission at a party in 2005.
“At the time, I was the executive producer of an ABC entertainment special, but I was Mr. Cuomo’s executive producer at ‘Primetime Live’ just before that,” wrote Ross.
“I was at the party with my husband, who sat behind me on an ottoman sipping his Diet Coke as I spoke with work friends,” she continued.
“When Mr. Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar, he walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock.”
Cuomo, according to his former producer, said he could “do this now that you’re no longer my boss.”
Shelly Ross, in order to solidify her claim, produced an email from Cuomo shortly after the alleged incident in which he appears to apologize for his behavior.
“‘Now that I think of it … I am ashamed,’ read the subject line of a 2005 email Mr. Cuomo wrote me, one hour after he sexually harassed me at a going-away party for an ABC colleague,” Ross said.
Cuomo wrote: “As a husband, I can empathize with not liking to see my wife patted as such.”
He appears to be referencing the fact that, according to Ross, her husband “had seen the entire episode at close range.”
Cuomo went on to apologize to Ross and her “very good and noble husband” and hinted he would restrain himself next time “no matter how happy I am to see you.”
Ross said she doesn’t wish to see Cuomo fired from CNN but would like to see him “journalistically repent” for his alleged sins in this matter.
“This is an opportunity for him and his employer to show what accountability can look like in the #MeToo era,” she wrote.
Last year, The Political Insider reported on recorded conversations that had surfaced between Chris Cuomo and former lawyer Michael Cohen discussing allegations of sexual misconduct at ABC.
“Do you know how many f***ing phone calls I’ve gotten from people at ABC who say that reporters are calling and lying about things they’ve heard about me, to try to get stories about me when I was at ABC?” Cuomo rants in the recording.
He goes on to suggest he doesn’t need to harass people in order to get with the ladies.
“Guys calling and saying, ‘I heard he was the Charlie Rose of ABC. He used to invite women to a hotel and open his bathrobe,'” the super-modest CNN host states.
“Do I look like the kind of f***ing guy who’s gotta do that?”
Cuomo goes on to dismiss any allegations made against him at the time.
“Women who do work there saying, ‘Oh yeah, you know, some of these men,’ naming me with other guys, ‘you know, we bumped into each other once in the elevator, and he put his hand on my shoulder, and he made me really uncomfortable,'” he scoffs.
Chris Cuomo, affectionately referred to as Fredo by his viewers (well, some of them), came under fire during his brother’s recent scandals.
The CNN anchor was allowed to promote the former governor during the pandemic with comedic segments involving props and references to the “Luv Guv,” but stayed silent after it was revealed he had allegedly sexually harassed over 10 women.
The younger Cuomo was called out by a New York Attorney General’s report regarding the allegations, where it was revealed he had crafted the governor’s response to the scandal.
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