Chris Cuomo addresses harassment allegation against brother during live CNN show

‘I cannot cover it because he is my brother’: Chris Cuomo addresses harassment allegation against brother during live CNN show

Mr Cuomo had his brother on the air repeatedly during early days of pandemic

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 02 March 2021 14:50
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CNN anchor Chris Cuomo started his Monday night show by awkwardly acknowledging the sexual assault allegations against his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Three women have now accused Governor Cuomo of inappropriate behaviour and sexual misconduct. He's also being investigated by federal prosecutors and the FBI after it was revealed that his administration underreported Covid deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50 per cent.

Chris Cuomo said it would be inappropriate for him to cover the allegations against his brother because they are family. Both Democrats and Republicans have called for Governor Cuomo to resign.

Chris Cuomo started his show by saying: "Before we start tonight, let me say something that I'm sure is very obvious to you, who watch my show. And thank you for that. You're straight with me. I'll be straight with you. Obviously, I'm aware of what's going on with my brother. And obviously, I cannot cover it, because he is my brother. Now, of course, CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively. And they will continue to do so. I have always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so. I just wanted to tell you that. There's a lot of news going on that matters also. So let's get after that."

Andrew Cuomo’s governorship was already in turmoil after two female state employees accused Governor Cuomo of sexual misconduct when his administration was hit with a third allegation Monday night as The New York Times reported that he made unwanted advances towards a woman at a wedding in 2019. The now 33-year-old Anna Ruch told the paper that Governor Cuomo put his hand on her lower back and told her she was "aggressive" when she removed his hand from her body. He then put his hands on her cheeks. He asked if he could kiss her loudly enough so that he could be heard among the surrounding guests. Ms Ruch said she moved away as the Governor moved closer.

Ms Ruch told The New York Times: “I was so confused and shocked and embarrassed. I turned my head away and didn’t have words in that moment.”

Read more: Follow live updates on the Biden Administration and the Trump post-presidency

In light of Chris Cuomo declining to talk about the allegations facing his brother on air, Twitter users questioned why the CNN anchor would often have his brother on in the early days of the pandemic for upbeat interviews during a time when Governor Cuomo was being hailed for his press conferences walking New Yorkers and Americans through the perilous moment.

In a statement to People, CNN said that the early pandemic interviews were an exception to their rules concerning conflicts of interest.

"The early months of the pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time," the statement said.

"We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest.

"As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today. CNN has covered the news surrounding Governor Cuomo extensively."

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