Chris Cuomo issued a public statement on Saturday night, hours after he was fired by CNN. The anchor was terminated for helping his brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, cover up sexual misconduct allegations against himself, amid reports that there were similar allegations emerging about Chris. He shared a public statement on his Twitter account.
"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," the journalist wrote. "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. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work."
Chris Cuomo was suspended from CNN on Tuesday, Nov. 30 after new evidence was released in the case against his brother, which showed that Cuomo had played a bigger part in the governor's defense than the network previously thought, according to a report by The New York Times. Sworn testimony said that Chris was part of a small, "tight-knit group of advisers" to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who "discussed a series of increasingly drastic steps to manipulate the press, discredit his accusers and retain a grip on power that became less and less tenable."
Chris allegedly helped by giving the governor's office access to his contacts throughout the news media industry, and by using those connections to find out which reporters were working on stories that could be detrimental to his brother's career. The testimony says that he personally followed up on a secondhand tip that one of his brother's accusers might be lying, which turned out to be false.
Meanwhile, the day after Chris' suspension, attorney Debra S. Katz announced that she represented a client with a sexual misconduct allegation against Chris himself. She said that this was "unrelated to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo matter," but according to the Times, it is still unclear if this case had any influence on CNN's ultimate decision to fire Chris.
"Based on the report we received regarding Chris's conduct with his brother's defense, we had cause to terminate. When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action," a CNN spokesperson said.