CNN’s Chris Cuomo admits to inappropriately touching former ABC News producer 16 years ago

CNN host Chris Cuomo admitted he inappropriately touched Shelley Ross – who was then a senior producer at ABC News, where they both worked – but insisted that the 2005 encounter “was not of a sexual nature”.

Ross, a veteran executive producer who had long stints at both ABC and CBS, accused Cuomo on Friday of sexual harassment at a company party she attended with her husband. “At the time, I was the executive producer of an ABC special, but I was the executive producer of Mr. Cuomo at ‘Primetime Live’ just before that,” Ross wrote in a comment from The New York. Times. “When Mr. Cuomo walked into the Upper West Side bar, he walked over to me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grasp and squeeze my cheek. buttock.”

Cuomo, she said, told her he could do it now that she was no longer his boss, but she pushed him away and told him he couldn’t. Later, she wrote, he emailed her — and included a screenshot of the email in the article.

Cuomo wrote “come to think of it…I’m ashamed…” in the subject line of the email, and went on to apologize. “although my warm greeting was a function of being glad to see you…christian slater was arrested for a (sort of) similar act (although born of an alleged negative intent, unlike mine)…and as a husband i can sympathize with not i like to see my wife caressed as such…so pass on my apologies to your very good and noble husband…and i also apologize to you even for putting you in such a mess position…net time, I will learn the lesson no matter how happy I am to see you…”, he wrote.

Ross noted that Cuomo, a former attorney, seemed to him to legally cover up with the email by differentiating himself from Christian Slater, who was accused of groping a woman on the street. (The charges were later dropped.)

She also blamed Cuomo for advising her brother, Andrew Cuomo, who this year has been mired in multiple sexual harassment charges that led to his resignation as New York governor last month.

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In her post, Ross also insisted that she didn’t want to see Cuomo fired for his behavior 16 years ago. “I hope he stays at CNN forever if he wants to,” she wrote. “However, I would like to see him repent journalistically: get on the airwaves to study the impact of sexism, harassment and gender bias in the workplace, including his own, and then report on it. He could host a series of live public meetings, with documentary footage, produced by women with expert consultants. Call it “The Continuing Education of Chris Cuomo” and make it a watershed moment instead of just another stain on the career of a more powerful male news anchor.

On Thursday, Cuomo released a statement to The Times: “As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. It happened 16 years ago in a public place when she was a senior executive at ABC. I then apologized to him, and I meant it.

A representative for Cuomo did not immediately return a request for additional comment to TheWrap Friday morning.