CNN Has Fired Chris Cuomo After New Details Emerged About How He Helped His Brother Fight Sexual Harassment Allegations
His termination comes days after the New York attorney general released new documents detailing how deeply involved he was in helping his brother craft a defense against the accusations.
Chris Cuomo has been fired from his job at CNN, the network announced Saturday, after a review revealed "additional information" about his involvement in his brother's defense against multiple sexual harassment allegations.
"We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately," CNN said in a statement. "While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light."
The star anchor's termination comes days after New York Attorney General Letitia James' office released new, damning details about his role in helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, craft a defense against the accusations. He had been indefinitely suspended by the network Tuesday.
In a statement Saturday, the longtime CNN anchor called his termination "disappointing."
"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," he said.
An investigation by James' office into sexual harassment allegations against the then-governor found that Andrew Cuomo had groped, kissed, or made inappropriate or suggestive comments to 11 women, most of whom were current or former state employees.
Andrew Cuomo has vigorously denied the allegations, attributing his penchant for close physical contact with people to his Italian American heritage. He resigned as governor in August.
The Washington Post first reported that Chris Cuomo played a significant role in shaping his brother's response to the allegations, advising his brother on what to say and participating in strategy sessions with his brother's team.
His conduct was widely viewed as an egregious breach of basic journalistic ethics, but CNN said at the time that he would not face any disciplinary action. He also had the support of CNN President Jeff Zucker, who said Chris Cuomo was facing "very unique circumstances."
The network's refusal to discipline Chris Cuomo at the time caused outrage within the company. CNN staffers who previously spoke to BuzzFeed News separately described it as "super hypocritical" and "a disgrace to journalism."
But a trove of documents released by James' office Monday revealed that Chris Cuomo was far more involved in helping his brother. Testimony transcripts and emails between him and his brother's aides show that he went so far as to ask his sources for information about his brother's accusers and then bring that information back to the governor's aides.
It's unclear what additional information was revealed in the network's latest review of Chris Cuomo's conduct. When asked about details, a spokesperson for the network directed BuzzFeed News to the announcement about his termination.