Lawyer Debra Katz claims her client was sexually harassed by the former CNN anchor, The New York Times reports.
The news is likely to add pressure to the Cuomo family as earlier this year former Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo was accused by 11 women of sexual harassment. The politician vehemently denied the accusations despite an investigation concluding that harassment had taken place.
TV host Chris Cuomo, who on Saturday was fired by CNN for helping his brother Andrew Cuomo defend his reputation amid sexual harassment accusations, has himself been accused of sexual misconduct, The New York Times has reported. According to the newspaper, last week prominent lawyer Debra S Katz informed CNN about a woman, a client of hers, who came forward with accusations against the TV presenter.
The woman, who worked with Mr. Cuomo at another television network, made an allegation of sexual misconduct against Chris Cuomo, Debra S Katz told CNN without elaborating on the details of the purported incident. Ms. Katz said that the individual decided to speak out against the TV host because “she was disgusted” by the remarks Chris Cuomo made earlier this year while speaking about the allegations of sexual harassment against his elder brother Andrew Cuomo, the former governor of New York.
“I have always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so. I just wanted to tell you that”, the TV host said during a March broadcast.
Steven Goldberg, a spokesman for Chris Cuomo said “these apparently anonymous allegations are not true”. Goldberg stressed that the TV host “fully stands by” the statements he made about the allegations against his brother.
“If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination”, the spokesman said.
It was unclear whether the accusation influenced CNN’s decision to fire Chris Cuomo. The network’s spokesman made the following statement:
“Based on the report we received regarding Chris’s conduct with his brother’s defense, we had cause to terminate. When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action”.
This is not the first time that Chris Cuomo has been accused of sexual misconduct. In September, Shelley Ross, his former boss at ABC, described in an essay in The New York Times how the TV host groped her at a party in 2005.
“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. ‘I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss’ he said to me with a kind of cocky arrogance. ‘No you can’t’ I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left”, Ross wrote.
She stressed that Cuomo’s behavior wasn’t sexual in nature. “His form of sexual harassment was a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle his female former boss in front of the staff”, Ross wrote.
The former executive producer then revealed that Cuomo sent her an email, apologizing for his actions. Mrs. Ross emphasized that she had decided to write the essay after an independent inquiry revealed that Chris Cuomo was part of a group that helped his brother Andrew Cuomo respond to sexual harassment allegations.
The Democrat was accused of sexual harassment by 11 women. For months he categorically denied the allegations and refused to step down, tendering his resignation only after an independent inquiry conducted by Attorney General Letitia James revealed that the elder Cuomo did harass the women.