LONDON: CNN suspended prime time anchor Chris Cuomo “indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” on Tuesday after an investigation revealed that he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, defend himself against sexual misconduct allegations.
The investigation, conducted by the New York Attorney General Letitia James, showed “a greater level of involvement” in Cuomo’s efforts to help his brother, Andrew, than previously known.
Andrew Cuomo had resigned in August after he was accused by various women of sexual misconduct. Chris Cuomo’s efforts to help his brother were widely considered a breach of journalistic ethics in the media industry.
At the time of Andrew’s resignation, Chris Cuomo had told CNN viewers that he was “not an advisor,” but “a brother.”
However, the new evidence revealed that Cuomo used media contacts to find out details about the women accusing Andrew of sexual harassement.
“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” CNN said in a statement shortly after Cuomo’s suspension.
“But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second. However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”
The documents revealed heaps of emails and text messages that point to the extent of Cuomo’s involvement, particularly with the governor’s staff.
“Please let me help with the prep,” Cuomo texted a senior aide, Melissa DeRosa. “You need to trust me we are making mistakes we can't afford,” he added.
Another set of messages revealed that Cuomo had texted DeRosa saying “I have a lead on the wedding girl,” a reference to Anna Ruch, a woman who accused Andrew Cuomo of attempting to kiss her at a wedding.