Chris Cuomo’s Accuser Puts CNN On Notice: “I was not a participant, I was groped, I was hoping that in 15 years he had changed”
Shelley Ross, Chris Cuomo’s former boss at ABC who shocked the media world when she accused him of sexually harassing her last week and brought proof via an email exchange put CNN on notice over Cuomo’s behavior saying he hasn’t changed.
“I was hoping that in 15, 16 years that he had changed, but he’s no more enlightened today than he was then, as demonstrated by his response,” she said.
In response to Ross’ accusation and email proof, Cuomo said: “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.”
Ross was not happy with Cuomo’s spin saying: “I don’t acknowledge that there’s anything that was ‘our interaction.’ I was not a participant.
“I was groped. And so to say that I acknowledge interaction, no. That shows a lack of enlightenment,” she said.
She said Cuomo sent her an email after the incident saying that he was “ashamed” before trying to spin his behavior. Ross said an email, dated June 1, 2005, from Cuomo has the subject line: “Now that I think of it…I am ashamed.”
The email body said:
“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 wrote in The Times:
“I was at the party with my husband, who sat behind me on an ottoman sipping his Diet Coke as I spoke with work friends.
“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.
“’I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss.
“No you can’t,” I said, pushing him off me at the chest while stepping back, revealing my husband, who had seen the entire episode at close range. We quickly left.
“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.
“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,” she wrote.
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