*CNN anchor Chris Cuomo‘s got a female problem and her name is Shelley Ross. She’s a veteran television producer and the former boss of Cuomo when he was at ABC News.
OK, here’s Cumo’s problem with Ross. On Friday, she accused him of sexual harassment, saying he grabbed and squeezed her buttock at a party in 2005.
The news comes via an opinion essay published in The New York Times in which Ross described how Cuomo “escaped accountability” for his involvement in managing the response to the sexual harassment scandal surrounding his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
In May, Cuomo admitted that he had “inappropriate” strategy conservations with his older brother and promised to steer clear of CNN’s coverage of the scandal. After the governor’s resignation, the broadcaster said in August he urged his brother to resign “when the time came,” but “never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward.”
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After highlighting moments that, she said, “crystallized for me how Mr. Cuomo performs,” Ross revealed the details of the 2005 incident at a going-away party for an ABC colleague.
“When Mr. Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar, he 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,” she wrote. “‘I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’ he said to me with a kind of cocky arrogance.”
In response, Ross said, “No, you can’t.” She said she pushed him away at the chest while stepping back to reveal her husband, who had seen the entire interaction unfold.
Uh oh, that must’ve been beyond embarrassing for Cuomo. Apparently so because shortly after the incident, Ross wrote, Cuomo apologized for his behavior in an email, saying he was “ashamed.”
Don’t worry, Ross isn’t demanding or even asking that Cuomo lose his job at CNN.
“I hope he stays at CNN forever if he chooses,” Ross said. “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.”