The Slatest

Sexual Misconduct Allegation Led to CNN Firing Chris Cuomo, Attorney Claims

Chris Cuomo attends the WarnerMedia Upfront 2019 arrivals on the red carpet at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2019 in New York City.
Chris Cuomo attends the WarnerMedia Upfront 2019 arrivals on the red carpet at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2019 in New York City. Mike Coppola/Getty Images

CNN fired Chris Cuomo after network executives were alerted to allegations of sexual misconduct against the star anchor, attorney Debra Katz said Sunday. Katz released a statement a day after CNN fired Cuomo. Cuomo had been placed on indefinite leave on Tuesday after documents revealed he had been far more intimately involved in helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, defend himself from allegations of sexual misconduct than what was publicly known. But on Saturday, CNN fired Cuomo, claiming in a statement that “additional information” had come to light, without going into details.

Advertisement

Katz released a statement Sunday claiming she had contacted CNN on Wednesday regarding her client’s allegations of sexual misconduct against Cuomo. Katz did not name her client, saying she wished to remain anonymous. Katz is also the lawyer for Charlotte Bennett, a former aide to Andrew Cuomo who accused him of sexual harassment earlier this year. The New York Times, which was first to report on the new sexual misconduct claims, said the allegations against Cuomo were made “by a former junior colleague at another network” and had nothing to do with the help he may have given to his brother.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

It isn’t exactly clear what role the sexual misconduct allegations had to do with the firings, but CNN said the decision had to do with new information the network had received. “When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action,” a CNN spokesperson said.

Advertisement
Advertisement

As far as Katz is concerned, Cuomo’s firing was directly related to her client’s allegations. “Hearing the hypocrisy of Chris Cuomo’s on-air words and disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women, my client retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN,” Katz said. She added that she was in discussions with CNN about “providing documentary evidence” regarding the allegations and making her client available for an interview with CNN’s outside counsel. “CNN acted promptly on my client’s complaint and fired Mr. Cuomo,” Katz said.

A spokesperson for Chris Cuomo denied the new allegations. “These apparently anonymous allegations are not true,” Steven Goldberg said in a statement. “If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination.”

Advertisement