Chris Cuomo had been suspended from CNN just days before his termination for defending former New York governor Andrew Cuomo.
Washington: CNN fired veteran anchor and correspondent Chris Cuomo on Saturday, claiming an inquiry into his role in defending brother Andrew Cuomo, the former governor of New York, against sexual misconduct allegations.
Chris Cuomo was suspended from CNN for the incident just days before he was terminated.
“We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately,” a statement posted to 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 9:00 pm 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 spokesperson said Tuesday, adding they “point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew.”
On Saturday, CNN was in the awkward position of reporting on the termination 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.
“So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at ‘Cuomo Prime Time,'” Cuomo added. “I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”
Cuomo has spoken candidly about his close relationship 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.”
Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, was elected governor three times before resigning in August after an investigation found he had sexually harassed at least 11 women, according to New York’s attorney general.
In October, the former governor, whose father Mario Cuomo served as governor of New York, was charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor s*x crime.
The Cuomo siblings soared to new heights of fame at the start of the pandemic: Andrew, 63, was praised for his candid daily briefings as the coronavirus ravaged New York, and his live CNN discussions with Chris were filled with banter.
CNN said that the inquiry into Chris Cuomo’s actions is still underway.