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“Badgered Her For Sex”: Chris Cuomo Alleged Sexual Assault Factored Into Firing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

While Chris Cuomo's ouster from CNN was originally pinned on unethical interactions with his brother – the embattled former Governor of NY, the disgraced anchor was fired in part over a resurfaced allegation that he sexually assaulted a young female staffer when he worked at ABC News in 2011, according to the New York Times.

24 hours after Cuomo was suspended for helping his brother fight sexual harassment charges, a letter arrived at CNN from an attorney representing a woman who had worked with Cuomo over a decade ago. She said claimed Cuomo sexually assaulted her – and then tried to silence her during the #MeToo movement by arranging a flattering CNN segment about her employer at the time.

The day after the letter was sent, Cuomo was fired by CNN boss Jeff Zucker – which Cuomo insists was done without due process.

The letter described it as an “abuse of power at CNN to attempt to silence my client.”

While a spokesman for Mr. Cuomo denied the allegations in the letter, it set in motion a chain of events that would quickly upend one of the world’s most powerful news networks.

By week’s end, Mr. Zucker had fired Mr. Cuomo, telling him that a drumbeat of scandals had become “too much for us.” -NYT

According to Cuomo's accuser, she was invited to lunch in his office one day in 2011 to discuss career advice. When she arrived, there was no food – and Cuomo instead badgered her for sex.

After she declined, he assaulted her and she ran out of the room.

The Times interviewed five of the woman's friends and former colleagues who say she told them about the unwelcome sexual requests – but the accuser has acknowledged that only in the past year did she begin to tell people about the assault "because it was private and painful."

Then, during the height of the #MeToo movement "after TV personalities like Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer were felled by misconduct allegations," Cuomo reached out to the woman "seemingly out of the blue" to propose airing a CNN segment about the company where she worked doing public relations – which CNN ran despite her attempt to avoid any contact with her alleged abuser.

"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," wrote attorney Debra S. Katz, a prominent sexual harassment lawyer.

The Times reviewed Mr. Cuomo’s messages to the woman and the segment and spoke with her boss at the time. Her boss said that after the segment aired, the woman shared some of the details of the encounter and Mr. Cuomo’s subsequent outreach.

Ms. Katz said the woman, who has been “deeply traumatized,” doesn’t want to become “a pawn in an internecine war between Zucker, Chris Cuomo and CNN” and won’t be saying anything further. She “deserves and requests privacy,” Ms. Katz said. -NYT

Cuomo spokesman Steven Goldberg said the allegations in Katz's letter "are false. He was never asked about the allegations prior to being terminated or given an opportunity to respond."

The day after his ouster, Cuomo hired Hollywood lawyer Bryan Freedman – who's known for his tough negotiating tactics and securing multimillion-dollar settlements for TV stars. Freedman sent a demand letter to the network requiring them to preserve all documents related to any dealings between any CNN employees and anyone in the governor's office – implying that Cuomo's defense would revolve around other network executives acting similarly in their communications with the governor.

Zucker spokeswoman Risa Heller said the now-fired CEO only spoke to the governor about appearing on the network, adding "He never gave Andrew Cuomo advice."


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