CNN’s Chris Cuomo accused of sexual harassment
Former ABC executive producer Shelley Ross accused Chris Cuomo of sexually harassing her in front of her husband and coworkers at a work party in 2005. Ross detailed the incident in a New York Times op-ed on Friday.
“I was at the party with my husband, who sat behind me on an ottoman sipping his Diet Coke as I spoke with work friends,” Ross wrote. “When Mr. Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar, he walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock.”
The veteran TV journalist was working as an executive producer of an ABC program at the time but was just Cuomo’s boss on ABC’s “Primetime Live” immediately prior.
“‘I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’ he said to me with a kind of cocky arrogance. ‘No you can’t,’ I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left.”
Ross said Cuomo sent her an email an hour later with the subject line, “Now that I think of it … I am ashamed.” Though Cuomo apologized to Ross and her husband in the email, Ross questioned Cuomo’s sincerity.
“Mr. Cuomo may say this is a sincere apology. I’ve always seen it as an attempt to provide himself with legal and moral coverage to evade accountability,” Ross said.
“I never thought that Mr. Cuomo’s behavior was sexual in nature. Whether he understood it at the time or not, his form of sexual harassment was a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle his female former boss in front of the staff.”