All in the family? CNN’s Chris Cuomo accused of sexually harassing ex-boss Shelley Ross

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NEW YORK CITY, NY – A former ABC executive producer has accused Chris Cuomo of sexually harassing her at a 2005 work party after he grabbed her butt in front of her husband and co-workers.

In an essay published Friday in The New York Times, Shelley Ross, a former executive producer at ABC and CBS, wrote that while attending a 2005 work gathering at an upper West Side bar, “Fredo walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock.”

“Fredo” is a known nick name for Cuomo.

She said that he told her it was alright to grab her buttocks because she “was no longer” his boss. She said she pushed him away, and told him, “No you can’t.”

Ross’s husband was standing near her at the time, and she said he witnessed the groping incident. She immediately left the gathering with her husband.

Ross said Cuomo sent an email later telling her he was “ashamed”, but quickly tried to show his actions were different from an actor accused of doing the same to a stranger on the street. She wrote:

“Soon after, I received the email from Mr. Cuomo about being ‘ashamed.’ He should have been. But my question today is the same as it was then: Was he ashamed of what he did, or was he embarrassed because my husband saw it?

“(He apologized first in his email to my ‘very good and noble husband’ and then to me for ‘even putting you in such a position.’) Mr. Cuomo may say this is a sincere apology. I’ve always seen it as an attempt to provide himself with legal and moral coverage to evade accountability.”

In his apology/admission, Cuomo compared his behavior to that of actor Christian Slater, who one month earlier was arrested for sexually harassing a woman on a New York City street after groping her buttocks. Cuomo wrote in the email to her:

“Though my hearty greeting was a function of being glad to see you … Christian Slater got arrested for a (kind of) similar act (though borne of an alleged negative intent, unlike my own) … and as a husband I can empathize with not liking to see my wife patted as such.

“So, pass along my apology to your very good and noble husband … and I apologize to you as well, for ever putting you in such a position.

“Next time, I will remember the lesson, no matter how happy I am to see you.”

Ross said that Cuomo’s actions were never taken as a sign of sexual desire or intent, but more likely an attempt to diminish her:

“I never thought that Mr. Cuomo’s behavior was sexual in nature. Whether he understood it at the time or not, his form of sexual harassment was a hostile act meant to diminish and belittle his female former boss in front of the staff.”

Cuomo bent those words of Ross on Thursday night when reporters asked him to comment on the assault. He told the media:

“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.”

Despite the physical assault and emotional insult suffered by Ross at the hands of Cuomo, she does not wish the veteran journalist ill-will. She wrote that she just wants him to repent:

“I’m not asking for Mr. Cuomo to become the next casualty in this continuing terrible story. I hope he stays at CNN forever if he chooses. I would, however, like to see him journalistically repent: agree on air to study the impact of sexism, harassment, and gender bias in the workplace, including his own, and then report on it.

“He could host a series of live town hall meetings, with documentary footage, produced by women with expert consultants. Call it ‘The Continuing Education of Chris Cuomo’ and make this a watershed moment instead of another stain on the career of one more powerful male news anchor.”

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LET UnityCNN’s Van Jones calls American policing ‘dumb and dangerous and discriminatory’ in absurd commentary (op-ed)

April 15, 2021

NEW YORK CITY, NY – CNN commentator Van Jones called policing “methodology” in the United States “dumb and dangerous and discriminatory” during a conversation on-air with “Cuomo Prime Time” host Chris Cuomo on Tuesday night.

He made the comments while excusing violence and rioting in places like Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis in Minnesota.

While video showed scenes of protesters confronting police during a fourth night of violence in Brooklyn Center following the apparently accidental shooting of Daunte Wright by a police officer during a traffic stop and warrant service, Van Jones defended the actions of the rioters, saying they were just young people who have lost faith in the system:

“The reason those young people are out there, and folks are out there tonight because people are losing faith in the system. The reason that young man —people say, why didn’t he do what he was told?

“Please understand there are two different Americas here. If when you see a police officer, you see the badge and not all those weapons, you are in one part of America.

If when you see a police officer, you see all those weapons and don’t see the badge, it’s because your experience has been they don’t come at you with respect. They don’t come at you with trust. They come at you with force.”

Offering an excuse for why Wright struggled with police as they tried to place him into custody on a felony aggravated armed robbery warrant Sunday night, Jones said:

“When people see somebody coming at them armed who has never treated you with respect, you can panic.”

Jones created the false impression that the officer did not show respect to Wright during the initial traffic stop. However, body camera video released of the incident showed a different story.

Officers initially made contact with Wright for displaying an expired license plate on his vehicle.

One officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and made contact with Wright. No weapons were drawn at the time. Only after police learned of the warrant did the officer ask Wright to exit the vehicle.

Wright was not pulled out of the vehicle, no weapons were drawn, and other officers on the scene maintained cover positions away from Wright. Only when the officer began to handcuff the wanted violent felon did trouble begin.

 

When Wright began to resist the officer’s attempt to place handcuffs on him, another officer stepped in to help hold Wright’s right arm while the officer continued trying to handcuff Wright.

When the officer touched his arm, Wright twisted away from the officers and pushed his way back into the driver’s seat of the car.

At this point, Wright posed a significant threat to the life and safety of both the officers fighting with him and another officer who was standing toward the front of the vehicle.
 

 

 

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