(FiveNation.com)- Chris Cuomo’s former boss from when he worked for ABC News penned an op-ed in the New York Times last week claiming that the CNN primetime host sexually harassed her at a 2005 work party.
Shelley Ross, a veteran TV journalist, described the incident which occurred at an Upper West Side bar in June 2005. She was there with her husband when the younger Cuomo walked up to her, hugged her hard and let his hand stray down to her buttocks which he gave a tight squeeze.
The cocky Cuomo told Ross that he could squeeze her butt now since she was no longer his boss. Ross told him he couldn’t, shoved him away from her and left quickly afterward with her husband, who had a front row seat for the exchange.
About an hour after she left the party, Ross received an email from Fredo with the subject line “Now that I think of it … I am ashamed.”
In his email, Cuomo called his inappropriate butt-squeeze a “hearty greeting.” Cuomo asked Ross to “pass along” his apology to her husband. Then he finally got around to apologizing to her, promising that “next time” he will remember the lesson of grabbing her fanny in front of her husband and not do it again “no matter how happy I am to see you.”
One can’t help but wonder if Chris Cuomo would have apologized if Ross’ husband wasn’t there to witness his wife getting groped. In fact, Ross herself wonders the same. In her op-ed, she questions whether Cuomo was ashamed because of what he did or because her husband had a ringside seat.
In his emailed “apology”, Cuomo made a point of bringing up actor Christian Slater who had, just a month before this incident, been arrested for sexually harassing a woman on the street after grabbing her butt. Ross believes that Cuomo brought this up in an effort to “legally differentiate” his behavior from Slater’s.
Weirdly, Ross admits in her op-ed that she wasn’t bringing up this sixteen-year-old butt-grabbing incident to get Chris Cuomo fired. Instead, she just wants him held accountable. She also criticizes CNN saying that the network doesn’t appear interested in holding Cuomo accountable for his actions.
But if she doesn’t want Cuomo to lose his job, what kind of accountability does Ross expect?