Chris Cuomo, who was fired by CNN on Saturday, is facing an allegation of sexual misconduct, according to a lawyer who is representing a client accusing the former anchor.
Debra Katz, the attorney, told The New York Times that she contacted CNN last week about a client with an accusation of misconduct by Cuomo. Katz also represents Charlotte Bennett, who accused Cuomo’s brother, Andrew Cuomo, of misconduct in a separate case.
Katz told other news outlets on Sunday that the revelation led to his firing on Saturday.
“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 in a statement Sunday.
A CNN spokesperson, speaking to the NY Times, did not disclose exactly why Cuomo was fired.
“Based on the report we received regarding Chris’s conduct with his brother’s defense, we had cause to terminate,” a representative for CNN said over the weekend. “When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action.”
Steven Goldberg, a spokesman for Chris Cuomo, denied any misconduct claims, characterizing them as anonymous. The woman who is accusing Cuomo has not been identified.
“These apparently anonymous allegations are not true,” Goldberg told the NY Times, adding that Cuomo “fully stands by his on-air statements about his connection to these issues, both professionally and in a profoundly personal way. If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination.”
But Katz told news outlets that her unnamed client was “disgusted by Chris Cuomo’s on-air statements in response to the allegations made against his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo” when Chris Cuomo addressed the scandal in March.
Several months ago, Shelley Ross, a veteran TV producer who had worked for ABC News alongside Chris Cuomo, said he made an inappropriate advance toward her at a work function in 2005. Ross also shared an email that allegedly showed Cuomo apologizing to her over the incident.
The allegations come as CNN confirmed Saturday that it terminated Cuomo’s employment, “effective immediately,” days after he was suspended pending a review over allegations that were released by the New York Attorney General’s office that said he protected Gov. Cuomo amid a scandal of his own.
“While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate,” said CNN in a statement.
Cuomo, meanwhile, released a comment after he was fired and said he is proud of the work he’s done with CNN.
“This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother,” the younger Cuomo said in the statement after the firing. “So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”
The Epoch Times has contacted a Cuomo representative and CNN for comment.