UK Markets open in 4 hrs 54 mins

CNN fires Chris Cuomo for helping brother fight sexual harassment claims

·3-min read
It was reported that anchor Chris Cuomo was fired by TV network CNN amid an inquiry into his involvement to help his brother, - Getty Images North America /Dia Dipasupil
It was reported that anchor Chris Cuomo was fired by TV network CNN amid an inquiry into his involvement to help his brother, - Getty Images North America /Dia Dipasupil

Chris Cuomo, one of America’s top news anchors, has been fired by CNN for helping his brother Andrew prepare a defence against sexual misconduct allegations while he was New York’s governor.

The cable news network announced Mr Cuomo’s sacking days after suspending the 51-year-old broadcaster.

"We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately," CNN said.

"Based on the report we received regarding Chris’s conduct with his brother’s defence, 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."

Over the weekend, the station found itself having to report on a scandal within its own newsroom.

Chris Cuomo attends The Hollywood Reporter's annual Most Powerful People in Media cocktail reception on April 11, 2019, in New York. - Invision /Evan Agostini
Chris Cuomo attends The Hollywood Reporter's annual Most Powerful People in Media cocktail reception on April 11, 2019, in New York. - Invision /Evan Agostini

And Mr Cuomo’s former colleagues did not pull their punches, with Brian Stelter, CNN’s media correspondent, accusing him of violating journalistic ethics “not once or twice but many times.”

Chris Cuomo was “basically acting like a staffer” for his brother, while still being employed by CNN, Mr Stelter added.

Underpinning Chris Cuomo’s downfall were two investigations.

One was conducted by New York’s Attorney General that found Andrew Cuomo, 63, had sexually harassed at least 11 women.

The other was by a law firm hired by CNN which found that Chris Cuomo had played an active role in helping his brother’s rapid-response operation to dispute the allegations which eventually led to his resignation.

Chris Cuomo also participated in the former governor’s defence strategy meetings and drafted statements on his behalf.

According to the voluminous dossier which was released by New York’s attorney general’s last week following its investigation, Chris Cuomo used his contacts in the media to try to secure early warning of further damaging allegations.

“When asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” he told the state’s investigators.

Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in New York. - AP/Seth Wenig
Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in New York. - AP/Seth Wenig

Andrew Cuomo’s resignation as governor and Chris Cuomo’s dismissal represented a spectacular fall from grace for two of the most powerful figures in New York politics and news.

The scandal brought the inexorable rise of the sons of former New York governor, Mario Cuomo, to a crashing halt.

Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic had been so widely praised that there were suggestions that he could be drafted as the Democratic presidential candidate.

Chris Cuomo, whose career had encompassed stints at Fox News and ABC, was hired by CNN to breathe life into a struggling morning show.

“He never backs down from a fight,” Jeff Zucker, the network’s president, said in a 2019 interview. “That’s what makes him the perfect cable news anchor.”

Commenting on his departure, Chris Cuomo said: “This is not how I wanted my time at CNN to end.”

The Telegraph has approached his spokesman for further comment.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting