CNN host Chris Cuomo at a WarnerMedia event in New York.MIKE SEGAR / Reuters
Veteran television producer Shelley Ross published an open letter in
New York Times
in which she denounced that
Chris Cuomo sexually harassed her at a party in 2005. Ross had been the show's executive producer. Cuomo
, but when the events occurred he was in charge of another space on the television network. "I can do this now that you are no longer my boss," the journalist released after grabbing his buttock "firmly". "No, you can't," Ross replied, pulling away. An hour later, Cuomo sent him an email asking for his forgiveness.
Chris Cuomo is the brother of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in August beset by a sex scandal. The Prosecutor's Office corroborated the accusations of sexual harassment of 11 women by the Democrat, who at all times defended his innocence and only apologized for having acted "in a way that made people uncomfortable." Investigations into the case revealed that the
advised his brother in a chain of emails that included members of the politician's staff on how to handle the crisis at the communicational level.
Ross explains in the letter that he is not seeking to have Cuomo fired from
, but rather that he regrets "journalistically" for his actions. In his words, that the presenter commit to the viewers that he will study the impact of sexism, harassment and gender bias in the workplace, including his own, "and then report on that."
Two recent events prompted Ross to tell his story publicly. The first was in early March, when the host explained on his
Cuomo Prime Time
that he would no longer cover his brother's management of his brother's pandemic in New York due to the sexual harassment scandal in which he was involved. “I have always been deeply and deeply concerned with these issues. I just wanted to tell you that, "said the journalist. The second event occurred last Labor Day, when Chris Cuomo was seen wearing a T-shirt with the word "truth." The complainant maintains in the letter that both episodes "were provocations in this era of personal responsibility."
Asked about the letter, Cuomo responded to
The New York Times
: “As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public setting when she was a senior executive at
. So I apologized to him and meant it ”. Ross narrates in his post that Cuomo sent him an email apologizing an hour after he "sexually harassed" her. He also notes that he "never" thought Cuomo's behavior was "sexual in nature." "Whether he understood it at the time or not, his form of sexual harassment was a hostile act designed to diminish and belittle his former boss in front of staff," he says.
The email sent by Cuomo the night of the party said he was "embarrassed."
"But my question today is the same as then: Was he ashamed of what he did or was he ashamed that my husband saw it?"
In the mail, the journalist first apologized to Ross's "very good and noble husband" and then to her for "even putting her in such a position."
The complainant maintains that, while Cuomo may make his apology sincere, for her it is "an attempt to provide himself with legal and moral cover to evade responsibility."
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