Chris Cuomo allegedly touched ABC News producer inappropriately

A former top TV news producer has alleged in a New York Times opinion piece that Chris Cuomo touched her inappropriately years ago when they both worked for ABC News, a revelation that threatens to add to public perception issues around the anchor, who runs the most-watched prime-time program.

Shelley Ross, former executive producer of ABC News’ “Good Morning America” ​​and CBS News’ “Early Show,” alleged in the New York Times article that Cuomo squeezed “the cheek of my butt” during a a “going away party for an ABC”. New Colleague” in 2005 as her husband looked on. Cuomo, Ross said, apologized for the incident in an email, a photo of which is included in her article.

“As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public place when she was a senior executive at ABC. I apologized to her at that time- there, and I really meant it,” Cuomo said in a statement provided to The Times Thursday night and included in Ross’s article. CNN declined to comment.

Cuomo has come under intense scrutiny in recent months as his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, was forced from his post due to a number of sexual harassment allegations. Chris Cuomo participated in sessions with members of his brother’s staff as they reviewed responses to harassment allegations. CNN never disciplined the anchor, but admitted in May that “it was inappropriate to engage in conversations with members of the governor’s staff, which Chris acknowledges. He will not participate in such conversations in the future.

The anchor’s 9 p.m. show, “Cuomo Prime Time,” is CNN’s highest-rated show and is emblematic of a new era at CNN that gives on-air reporters the opportunity to offer perspective and an analysis alongside the usual narrative of the facts which is a staple of the News Channel. Cuomo’s show directly competes with MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” and Fox News Channel’s “Hannity.”

Ross’ account may also draw attention to ABC News, which has been cited in a lawsuit filed by a current employee who claims she was sexually harassed by former “Good Morning America” ​​producer Michael Corn, and that the Executives of ABC and its parent company, Walt Disney were aware of the allegations but chose not to pursue them. Corn, now an executive at Nexstar, denied the allegations. ABC News said in an earlier statement that it “disputes the allegations against him and will address this matter in court.”

CNN may have inadvertently encouraged his anchor by allowing him to interview his brother on the show several times at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The pairing generated publicity for the siblings as the senior New York official won early plaudits for his handling of the crisis. Even so, their conversations represented a violation of journalistic protocol. “The first few months of the pandemic crisis have been an extraordinary time,” CNN said in February. “We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges facing millions of American families was of significant human interest.”

Ross was Chris Cuomo’s boss when they both worked for ABC News magazine “Primetime Live.” She alleged in her post that the incident she described happened after she left the show. She alleged Cuomo told her, “I can do it now that you’re not my boss anymore.”

“Shortly after, I got the ‘shame’ email from Mr. Cuomo. It should have been. But my question today is the same as then: had- Was he ashamed of what he did, or was he embarrassed because my husband saw it?’ Ross asked in the article.

Ross said she didn’t want Cuomo to lose his job, but to hold him accountable by reporting issues around harassment and bias. “I am not asking Mr. Cuomo to become the next victim of this continuing terrible story. I hope he stays on CNN forever if he wants to,” she said. “However, I would like to see him repent journalistically: get on the airwaves to study the impact of sexism, harassment and gender bias in the workplace, including his own, and then report on it.”