Chris Cuomo was hit with a new sexual harassment allegation days before CNN announced his dismissal as part of an investigation into work he did to defend his brother against similar harassment allegations.
A lawyer, Debra Katz, said on Sunday that her client alleged “serious sexual misconduct” on Cuomo’s part and contacted CNN on Wednesday about the allegation.
CNN suspended Cuomo earlier this week after details emerged of how he helped his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as he faced allegations of sexual harassment.
CNN officials said “more information has come to light” when they announced Chris Cuomo’s dismissal, but did not elaborate.
Katz said the accuser decided to come forward after the New York attorney general’s office released evidence showing Cuomo played a much more active role than previously thought in strategizing and helping to craft a response to the allegations her brother was facing.
When the first allegations surfaced against Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo told viewers he “has always been deeply concerned about these issues,” Katz said.
“Hearing the hypocrisy of Chris Cuomo’s on-air words and disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women, my client retained a lawyer to report to CNN his serious sexual misconduct against him,” Katz said in the statement.
CNN was reviewing Chris Cuomo’s conduct in the wake of the new information. A law firm recommended his dismissal.
“It goes without saying that these decisions are not easy and that there are many complex factors involved,” CNN chief Jeff Zucker wrote in an email to CNN staff on Saturday.
Cuomo posted a statement on Twitter, calling the move disappointing.
“This is not how I want my time on CNN to end, but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me now say as disappointing as it may be, I couldn’t be more proud of the Cuomo Prime Time team and the work we have done, ”he said.
The new misconduct allegation comes after veteran television executive Shelley Ross wrote a column for the New York Times in September saying Chris Cuomo groped her at a party 16 years ago, while they both worked for ABC News.
Cuomo told the newspaper, “I apologized to her then, and I meant it. “