CNN fires Chris Cuomo over help he gave governor brother

WASHINGTON • CNN fired veteran anchor and correspondent Chris Cuomo (right), the cable news channel said last Saturday, amid an investigation into his involvement with helping defend brother Andrew Cuomo (right below), the former New York governor, against sexual misconduct allegations.

Chris Cuomo had been suspended from CNN over the matter just days before his termination.

"We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review and have terminated him, effective immediately," a statement posted on CNN's official communications Twitter account said.

"While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light."

The termination comes after documents surfaced showing that Cuomo, who anchored the 9pm news slot, offered advice to his politician brother that was deemed too close for comfort by his employer.

"The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions," a CNN spokesman said on Tuesday, adding that they "point to a greater level of involvement in his brother's efforts than we previously knew".

CNN last Saturday found itself in the awkward position of reporting on the firing of one of its own anchors.

"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," Cuomo, 51, said in a text message statement read out on the air by CNN media reporter Brian Stelter.

Cuomo has spoken candidly of his strong bond with his older sibling.

"He's my brother. And if I can help my brother, I do. If he wants me to hear something, I will. If he wants me to weigh in on something, I'll try," he told investigators in July when asked about the counsel he had offered.

"He's my brother, and I love him to death no matter what."

Democrat Andrew Cuomo was elected governor thrice before resigning in August, after New York's Attorney-General Letitia James said an investigation concluded he had sexually harassed at least 11 women.

In October, the former governor - whose father Mario Cuomo had also been governor of New York - was charged with a misdemeanour sex crime for forcible touching.

At the start of the pandemic, the Cuomo brothers soared to new heights of popularity: Andrew, 63, earned praise for his frank daily briefings as the coronavirus ravaged New York, and his live exchanges with Chris on CNN were peppered with banter.

The investigation into Chris Cuomo's conduct is ongoing, CNN said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2021, with the headline CNN fires Chris Cuomo over help he gave governor brother. Subscribe