Chris Cuomo Shrugs Off Assault Allegations
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Chris Cuomo dismissed sexual misconduct allegations against him, saying it’s “in the past.”
Cuomo sat down for an interview with NewsNation, his new employer, during which he had a tense exchange with host Dan Abrams.
Abrams had asked Cuomo about reports that CNN’s last straw with him “was a claim of sexual assault against you.” The NewsNation host read from reports that Cuomo’s accuser “suspected he was concerned about her coming forward publicly with her allegations and wanted to use the proposed segment as an opportunity to ‘test the waters’ and discourage her from going on the record about his sexual misconduct.”
“My feeling is, it’s in the past, I’m never going to be able to convince people one way or another [and] I feed the story by commenting on it,” Cuomo said. “I denied it. And you try to move on.”
During the interview, Cuomo criticized former CNN colleagues Don Lemon and Jake Tapper for not making more of an effort to reach out last year after the network fired him.
Abrams asked Cuomo about Lemon and Tapper “coming out aggressively” against him amid his ousting from the network.
“They’re good people. They’re good people,” the former Cuomo Prime Time host said.
“I cannot blame people for acting on what they’re told,” he continued, referencing Lemon and Tapper.
“Should they have called me? Of course. But I understand the circumstances, also.”
Cuomo said he understood “why they may not have felt that was an option. But these are good people.”
“They take their jobs seriously. I’m not gonna judge them for what they say about me based on what they knew and didn’t know.”
“I wish them well,” he added.
CNN fired Cuomo last year after it became known that he’d played an active role in helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), discredit sexual misconduct claims against him.
Cuomo filed a $125 million claim against CNN, seeking wages and damages. In the arbitration brief, Cuomo alleged that CNN executives Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust — who both resigned from the network after failing to disclose their romantic relationship — did not discipline other CNN staff who appeared to break the rules.
“As long as CNN’s ratings would not be hurt, Zucker and Gollust were more than willing to overlook major transgressions by CNN personalities such as Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, or even to engage in blatant misconduct themselves,” the filing said.
Business Insider obtained an audio clip of a network meeting after Zucker’s resignation, in which Lemon argued against Cuomo receiving any severance payment.
During the meeting, Lemon reportedly said: “Did you think about what message it sends to the journalists in this company and to the larger public, that someone can be found to break with those journalistic standards and then get paid handsomely for it?”