CNN fired Cuomo Prime Time host Chris Cuomo after reviewing documents that showed Cuomo used his media sources to dig up information on his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s, sexual harassment accusers.
The network said:
Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense. We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.
CNN declined to share the details of the “additional information” that has come to light.
On Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James released text messages between Chris Cuomo and Melissa DeRosa, Andrew Cuomo’s top aide. These texts showed Cuomo used his media sources to help with his brother’s defense, essentially acting as an aide to Andrew Cuomo himself.
“Please let me help with the prep,” Cuomo texted DeRosa. In one message, Cuomo sent DeRosa a fully prepared statement for his brother to use in response to the sexual harassment accusations.
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After the release of these documents, CNN said they would do a “thorough review and consideration” of the files. CNN’s review continued on Tuesday when Cuomo was suspended indefinitely by the network. “These documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” CNN said.
Cuomo called his termination “disappointing” in a statement posted to Twitter Saturday evening:
This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.