When it was announced that CNN was parting ways with one of its most popular and influential news show hosts, Chris Cuomo, it was initially thought that the firing was due to Cuomo’s involvement with his embattled older brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo who resigned earlier this year after a barrage of sexual harassment allegations sunk his political career.
Now, the same thing may be happening to his brother.
What Is Known About the Allegations So Far
According to the UK’s Daily Mail, “Though they didn’t mention it, the network was allegedly informed about a sexual harassment allegation against Cuomo made by a junior colleague at another network days earlier. The nature of the allegation is not yet clear.
California attorney Benjamin Eghbali told Fox News that Cuomo will be held to a similar standard as disgraced Miramax founder Harvey Weinstein if people decide to sue CNN alleging a cover-up.
However, in order to sue CNN successfully, it must be proven by a preponderance (not the beyond a reasonable doubt standard in criminal cases) of the evidence that CNN knew Chris Cuomo was engaging in sexually harassing behavior and CNN knew about it and chose to do nothing.
Facing the Power and Influence of the Abuser
Of course, I’ve been down this road before with the Harvey Weinstein case. Despite Weinstein’s enormous power and influence in Hollywood, we were able to convince a jury that Weinstein indeed did what we alleged he did to scores of women. In some ways, the Weinstein case was more difficult than the Cuomo case given Weinstein’s money and influence in Hollywood.
The Daily Mail wrote, “Chris Cuomo, 64, was also accused of sexually harassing a female coworker, who was his superior at the time, at a party in 2005.
In an op-ed for the Times in September, producer Shelley Ross wrote that Cuomo walked up to her, hugged her, and firmly grasped her buttocks as her husband sat behind her.
‘I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss,’ he said, according to Ross.
Karen Agnifilo, a lawyer and former chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan, told Fox News that Cuomo is likely to use the same defense as his brother.”
If the sexual harassment allegations are proven true, it would be a cataclysmic fall from power for one of New York’s most powerful families.