CNN "indefinitely" suspended its star anchor Chris Cuomo on Tuesday. The news comes one day after officials revealed the Cuomo Prime Time host used media sources to get dirt on women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment.
"The New York Attorney General’s office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo's involvements in his brother's defense. The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions," a CNN spokesperson tells Yahoo Entertainment.
"When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother's staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly. But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second," the statement continues. "However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation."
Chris previously apologized for advising his brother's political aides as 11 women claimed the former governor behaved inappropriately while in office.
"There are stories out there about me offering my brother advice. Of course I do. This is no revelation. I have said it publicly, and I certainly have never hidden it," Chris said on his show back in May. "I can be objective about just about any topic, but not about my family."
He continued, "Those of you who watch this show get it. Like you, I bet, my family means everything to me. And I am fiercely loyal to them. I am family first, job second."
Chris apologized to CNN, but stood by his decision to help his brother claiming, "I know where the line is."
“Being a journalist and a brother to a politician is… a unique challenge, and I have a unique responsibility to balance those roles,” says @ChrisCuomo regarding reports that he offered advice to his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “It was a mistake.” pic.twitter.com/P0GkglgrYM
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) May 21, 2021
Chris started with CNN in 2013 as co-host the morning show New Day. The top-rated Cuomo Prime Time was launched in 2018 and he quickly became one of the network's biggest stars. At the start of the pandemic, Chris regularly had the former governor on the show to the delight and dismay of some viewers. One topic Chris stayed away from discussing the past 18 months was the sexual-harassment scandal. Andrew ultimately resigned in August and Chris acknowledged the situation on-air again.
"I can't be objective when it comes to my family, so I never reported on the scandal," Chris declared. "And when it happened, I tried to be there for my brother. I'm not an adviser. I'm a brother. I wasn't in control of anything. I was there to listen and offer my take. And my advice to my brother was simple and consistent. Own what you did. Tell people what you'll do to be better. Be contrite. And finally, accept that it doesn't matter what you intended. What matters is how your actions and words were perceived."
According to emails and text messages published by New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday, Chris's involvement went deeper.
"Please let me help with prep," Chris texted his the former governor's top aide, Melissa DeRosa, in early March. When DeRosa asked Chris to use his media connections to find out information about a specific accuser, the anchor replied, "On it." In another message that he had "a lead on the" woman.
Chris did not address the situation on Monday's show. He has yet to issue a statement regarding his suspension from CNN.