Chris Cuomo, fired CNN anchor, quits SiriusXM radio show
NEW YORK - Fired CNN anchor Chris Cuomo announced Monday that he will also quit his SiriusXM radio show.
"The way my time ended at CNN was hard," he posted on Instagram. "While I have a thick skin, I also have a family, for whom the past week has been extraordinarily difficult."
"So, right now, I have to take a step back and focus on what comes next," he continued. "That means I will no longer be doing my SiriusXM radio show."
Over the weekend, CNN fired Cuomo. The move came shortly after he was accused of sexual harassment. The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, took her allegations against Cuomo to CNN last week through her lawyer, Debra Katz. Katz did not give any specifics about the alleged behavior, believed to have occurred before Cuomo joined CNN in 2013.
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But the network pointed to his actions in helping his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, through his own sexual harassment scandal. Network brass had previously suspended Chris Cuomo.
The news network said in a statement: "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," CNN's statement added. "Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate."
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Chris Cuomo responded on Twitter that he was proud of the work he did at the network.
"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," he said.
The former CNN anchor pressed sources for information on his brother’s accusers and reported back to the governor’s staff, and was active in helping craft their response to the charges, according to emails and a transcript of his testimony to investigators working for state Attorney General Letitia James. Her office found Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.
Chris Cuomo previously acknowledged talking to his brother and offering advice when the governor faced harassment charges. But the information released last week revealed far more details about what exactly Chris Cuomo did. Andrew Cuomo resigned in August and avoided a likely impeachment trial.
During the first two months of the pandemic, Chris Cuomo interviewed his brother on the air a number of times. It was a hit with viewers, although it violated CNN’s policy of not having Cuomo report on his brother, and was a programming choice that has grown worse with time and additional revelations.
Chris Cuomo frequently consulted with his brother’s aides when Andrew was fighting the charges last May, sometimes disagreeing with their advice.
"This is my brother, and I’m trying to help my brother through a situation where he told me he did nothing wrong," Cuomo testified last July to investigators at the attorney general’s office.
Chris Cuomo, who recently apologized himself over a previous sexual harassment allegation against him, has insisted he has done nothing to try to influence CNN’s coverage of his brother’s political problems, and that it would be quickly found out if he did.
Chris Cuomo also said he reached out to other journalists to find out whether they were writing stories about his brother, most notably seeking information on what Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker was writing. He acknowledged he didn’t tell CNN he was doing this, and characterized his actions as nothing out of the ordinary for a journalist.
RELATED: Transcripts highlight Chris Cuomo's role advising brother Andrew Cuomo during scandal
Critics had called on CNN to take action following the attorney general’s release, with David A. Graham of The Atlantic saying Cuomo should resign — or be fired by CNN if he doesn’t.
After it was first revealed last May by The Washington Post that Chris Cuomo had consulted with his brother’s aides, CNN released a statement saying that his actions were inappropriate, but it did not discipline him.
Chris Cuomo, a lawyer, is 13 years younger than Andrew Cuomo, who he has described as his best friend. They are the sons of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who was in office from 1982 to 1996.
He worked for several years at ABC News, joining CNN in 2013 as co-host of the network’s morning show.
"Cuomo Prime Time" had been the network’s highest-rated show this year, airing at the 9 p.m. Eastern hour between shows by Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.
His firing leaves a hole in CNN’s weeknight lineup. Even while competing in the same time slot with industry heavyweights Sean Hannity on Fox News Channel and Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, Cuomo was generally the most-watched personality on CNN.
A veteran TV executive, Shelley Ross, wrote a column for The New York Times in September saying Cuomo had groped her at a party 16 years ago. Cuomo told the newspaper that "I apologized to her then, and I meant it."
The Associated Press contributed to this story. This story was reported from Los Angeles.