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Former ABC Boss Accuses CNN’s Chris Cuomo of Sexual Harassment

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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.”

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

5 Comments

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  1. He pinched my but 16 years ago, no one knows who I am so I figure I’ll bring something up that was already settled so I can get my five minutes of fame and bring another white male down a beg. That about sum it up. And to say his apology was meaningless is bs. No one was getting in trouble for this type of stuff 16 years ago so while I think he is a pos, I’m sure he wasn’t apologizing so he was covered for 20 years in the future. Just another woman that most likely didn’t give two shits back then but wants her fame now. So sick of this crap.

  2. Yeah, Cuomo is a liar and a sleaze bucket. But this points out the difference between men & women. 99% of men would blow it off (no pun intended) if their former female boss cornered them at a party, hugged them, and grabbed their ass as they said hello. Heck, many would like it. On the way home, some would mention it to their spouse later on…”hey, you know what Shelly did at the party…….” (yeah, the wife wouldn’t like it). But men sure as hell aren’t writing essays about it in the NYT 16 years later.

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