If you thought it couldn’t get any uglier, you thought wrong.
Former CNN host Chris Cuomo allegedly sexually attacked a female ABC News temporary worker during a “lunch” after she rejected his proposition, according to a new report.
“The accusation was made to CNN lawyers in December hours after Cuomo was suspended for advising his brother, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo, how to dodge his own sexual harassment accusations,” The New York Times reported. Days later, CNN fired Cuomo.
The accuser, who was not named, made her allegation after Cuomo was suspended from the network for helping his brother, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) handle his own sexual harassment mess, in which upward of a dozen women had made accusations. The governor eventually stepped down.
The Times reported the contents of a letter from the accuser’s lawyer, Debra Katz, sent to CNN laying out the accusation.
“It relayed a story that had begun in 2011 when the woman, who was referred to as Jane Doe, was a young temporary ABC employee hoping for a full-time job. One day, after Mr. Cuomo, an anchor, had offered her career advice, he invited her to lunch in his office, according to the letter, interviews with the woman and emails between her and Mr. Cuomo,” The Times reported. “When she arrived, there was no food. Instead, Mr. Cuomo badgered her for sex, and after she declined, he assaulted her, she said. She ran out of the room.”
The woman attempted to “smooth things over” via emails to Cuomo as she sought to get a full-time job at ABC, the Times reported. After the alleged incident, she told “five friends and former colleagues” about “unwelcome sexual requests” from Cuomo, the report said.
During the height of the Me Too movement, Cuomo contacted the woman “seemingly out of the blue,” Katz’s letter said, offering to do an on-air segment on the company for which she worked at the time.
“After years without any substantive communication from Mr. Cuomo whatsoever, Ms. Doe suspected he was concerned about her coming forward publicly with her allegations and wanted to use the proposed segment as an opportunity to ‘test the waters’ and discourage her from going on the record about his sexual misconduct,” Katz wrote in the letter. She added that her client did not want to become “a pawn in an internecine war between [then-CNN CEO Jeffrey] Zucker, Chris Cuomo and CNN.”
A representative for Cuomo told Fox News Digital the claims “are false. He was never asked about the allegations prior to being terminated or given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.”
Cuomo was also accused of sexual harassment by veteran TV producer Shelley Ross, who alleged that he grabbed her buttock at a 2005 event, when the two were colleagues at ABC colleagues.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent, and ran the Drudge Report from 2010 to 2015. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.
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