CHICAGO, United States
A former executive at ABC News alleged on Friday that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo once grabbed her inappropriately during a party 16 years ago.
Shelley Ross made the allegation in an opinion piece published Friday in the New York Times. She wrote that when she was an executive producer at ABC News in 2005, Cuomo grabbed her in a bear hug then reached down and grabbed her buttock in front of her husband. The incident happened at a colleague's farewell party, and at the time, she and Cuomo worked together.
Ross wrote: "'I can do this now that you're no longer my boss,' (Cuomo) said to me with a kind of cocky arrogance. 'No you can't,' I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left."
Ross also revealed an email she later got from Cuomo in which he wrote, "now that I think of it.. I am ashamed," and insisted his interaction was meant as a "hearty greeting," with no malicious or sexual intent.
Cuomo responded to the Times on Thursday night saying, "As Shelley acknowledges, our interaction was not sexual in nature. 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."
Ross added in her opinion piece that she did not want to see Cuomo lose his job, just to acknowledge on the air the impact of sexual harassment, including his own.
Cuomo joined CNN in 2013 and has since had the top-rated nightly newscast on the network. CNN has not commented on the allegation.
Cuomo advised his brother Andrew, the former Governor of New York, during his sexual harassment scandal this year. Andrew Cuomo resigned last month, after years of sexual harassment allegations surfaced. He fought the allegations by saying that he while he made mistakes, he never meant to harass anyone, and often kissed and hugged both men and women.
But the threat of impeachment from this own Democratic party led him to quit.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.