Evidence released by New York’s attorney general on Monday stoked speculation over Chris Cuomo’s future at CNN, showing that the primetime host used media contacts to glean information about women accusing his brother, the then New York governor Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment – then sought to make his sibling aware of upcoming coverage.
A transcript of an interview with the younger Cuomo showed that at one point the TV host texted Melissa DeRosa, his brother’s top aide, to say “I have a lead on the wedding girl”. It was a reference to Anna Ruch, a woman who accused Andrew Cuomo of attempting to kiss her at a wedding.
Chris Cuomo told investigators a “source” told him about Ruch and a friend told him that “maybe she had been put up to it”.
The broadcaster also used his contacts to warn his brother, via DeRosa, of yet-to-be-published media reports regarding allegations against him.
“I would – when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out,” Cuomo told investigators.
Chris Cuomo has acknowledged that he advised his brother on how to respond to a scandal that engulfed his administration, but the extent of his involvement has only now become clear.
Andrew Cuomo resigned as New York governor in August, after 11 women accused him of inappropriate behaviour. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
CNN said it would conduct a “thorough review” of the new evidence.
“We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days,” said a spokesman, according to CNBC.
Cuomo has been a primetime host on CNN since 2018. When the allegations relating to his brother emerged he vowed not to cover them, due to the obvious conflict of interest. He has previously apologised for advising Andrew Cuomo during this time.
The evidence released by the state attorney general shows that Chris Cuomo typed out a statement on behalf of his brother and sent it to DeRosa.
It read: “I will not resign, I cannot resign … I understand the political pressure, I understand the stakes of political warfare, and that’s what this is … And I understand the conformity that can be forced by cancel culture.”
Cuomo and DeRosa also discussed upcoming stories in Politico and the New Yorker on the then governor.
“I was frequently in contact when we would hear word that there were other people coming out” with stories, Cuomo told investigators.