Videos by OutKick
Shelley Ross, a former ABC News producer, has accused CNN’s Chris Cuomo of sexual harassment. In a guest essay published in the New York Times on Friday, Ross discussed an incident from 2005, when Cuomo worked under her at ABC:
“At the time, I was the executive producer of an ABC entertainment special, but I was Mr. Cuomo’s executive producer at ‘Primetime Live’ just before that. 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. 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.”
Ross said Cuomo followed up the action by saying, “I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss” with “a kind of cocky arrogance.” Ross told Cuomo he couldn’t since her husband was right behind her.
In the piece, Ross posted a screenshot of an email Cuomo sent her one hour after the incident:
“Now that I think of it … I am ashamed,” read the subject line of the 2005 email from Cuomo.
“[T]hough my hearty greeting was a function of being glad to see you … christian slater got arrested for a (kind of) similar act, (though borne of an alleged negative intent, unlike my own)…and as a husband I can empathize with not liking to see my wife patted as such.”
Chris Cuomo seemingly admitted to the allegations in that 2005 email and did not deny Ross’ claims in a statement to the Times on Thursday.
“As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature,” Cuomo says. “It happened 16 years ago in a public setting when she was a top executive at ABC. I apologized to her then, and I meant it.”
CNN did not respond to a Fox News request for comment.
Ross says that while Cuomo says his apology is sincere, she views the email as Cuomo’s attempt to provide himself with “legal and moral coverage to evade accountability.”
Ross also suggested she found Chris Cuomo’s statements about sexual harassment allegations against his brother, then New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to be hypocritical. Chris Cuomo told his CNN audience this spring that he has always cared deeply about sexual harassment claims.
Meanwhile, Shelley Ross says she does not wish for CNN to fire Cuomo but hopes he will use his power to make a change:
“I’m not asking for Mr. Cuomo to become the next casualty in this continuing terrible story. I hope he stays at CNN forever if he chooses. I would, however, like to see him journalistically repent: agree on air to study the impact of sexism, harassment and gender bias in the workplace, including his own, and then report on it.”