The latest high-profile media figure to be accused of sexual harassment is Chris Cuomo, the Southampton resident, CNN anchor and brother of disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently resigned amid several scandals.
Shelley Ross, Chris Cuomo’s former boss at ABC News, penned a guest essay in The New York Times on Friday in which she said Chris grabbed and squeezed her buttocks in front of her husband during a party in New York City 16 years ago.
“I have no grudge against Mr. Cuomo; I’m not looking for him to lose his job,” she wrote. “Rather, this is an opportunity for him and his employer to show what accountability can look like in the MeToo era. Accountability has been the cornerstone of the MeToo movement, leading to tangible results and even justice, consequences for harassers and the possibility of real change.”
As we previously reported, Chris Cuomo advised his older brother Andrew Cuomo on how to handle the negative publicity and multiple investigations into allegations of sexual harassment lodged against the former governor.
Ross, who had previously served as the younger Cuomo brother’s executive producer at Primetime Live, detailed the explosive allegations and included an image of an email he later sent her apologizing for his behavior. These charges come just over a month after Andrew stepped down. She suggested Chris use the revelations as an opportunity to better cover the subject of harassment against women on his show, Cuomo Prime Time.
Chris allegedly groped Ross at a going away party for one of their ABC colleagues on June 1, 2005. Ross never saw the encounter as “sexual in nature,” she wrote, but she described his alleged harassment as “a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle his female former boss in front of the staff.”
The news anchor responded to her allegations in a short statement shared with the New York Daily News.
“As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature,” he said. “It happened 16 years ago in a public setting when she was a top executive at ABC. I apologized to her then, and I meant it.”