By: Ron Lightmeier
When I think of all of the places I could spend Christmas this year, the Cuomo’s gathering would not be at the top of my list.
Brothers Cuomo have been through the ringer in 2021, from sex scandals, job losses, nursing home deaths, editing documents, and book cancellations, I can’t imagine the round table discussions that will be had at the family gathering this Christmas.
One could only assume ‘joyous’, would not be the atmosphere.
On Tuesday, Chris Cuomo’s book has been canceled by publisher HarperCollins following sexual misconduct allegations against the former CNN anchor who was fired by the network last week.
A representative from Custom House, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, told the Associated Press that it would not release Cuomo’s book “Deep Denial.” The spokesperson did not offer any additional comment.
Cuomo was later accused of sexual misconduct by an unnamed woman preceding his firing. The woman’s attorney, Debra Katz, said that her client’s allegations were the reason Cuomo was fired.
The veteran, anti-Trump CNN anchor was fired last Saturday after an outside law firm hired by the network completed its review of Cuomo’s involvement in the sexual harassment allegations against his brother, former New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Last night, CNN acted promptly on my client’s complaint and fired Mr. Cuomo,” Katz said. “My client came forward at this time because she felt in sharing her story and related documentation, she could help protect other women.”
Cuomo denied the allegations through a spokesperson.
Chris Cuomo, in his own statement on Twitter, said, “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. So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”
Things were looking up for brother, and former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo when the Department of Justice (DOJ) declined to open investigations into the governors over decisions to force nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients.
But, after a nearly five-month investigation, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that investigators concluded that Governor Cuomo did sexually harass multiple women — including former and current state employees — by engaging in unwanted groping, kissing, and hugging, and making inappropriate comments. Further, the governor and his senior staff took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story.
“This is a sad day for New York because independent investigators have concluded that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and, in doing so, broke the law,” said Attorney General James. “I am grateful to all the women who came forward to tell their stories in painstaking detail, enabling investigators to get to the truth. No man — no matter how powerful — can be allowed to harass women or violate our human rights laws, period.”
Starting in December 2020, multiple women came forward with allegations that Governor Cuomo sexually harassed them. Over the course of the investigation, the investigators interviewed 179 individuals.
“I want you to know directly from me, I never touched anyone inappropriately,” the former governor said in a video response.
However, in a clip released by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo can be heard attempting to sing “Do You Love Me” to a female aide over the phone.
Accuser Charlotte Bennett can be heard at the beginning of the Oct. 4, 2019 recording saying to Cuomo, “Hi governor, this is Charlotte,” before Cuomo began singing, “Do you love me” to her over the phone. She laughed uncomfortably as they discussed how she was unfamiliar with the song.
“Do you love me? Do you really love me? Do you love me? Do you care,” Cuomo sang at the aide, who was in her 20’s at the time and worked as an executive assistant and a health policy adviser in Cuomo’s office.
“You don’t know that song,” he says to her, “It’s before your time,” to which she responds, “It’s before my time, but I appreciate the singing.”
Then, an aide to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted to fabricating the governor’s signature on a document attesting that he had completed a mandatory sexual harassment training in 2019, according to an investigation released by the state’s attorney general.
Stephanie Benton, Cuomo’s office director, told investigators that she was the one who produced the governor’s signature on a 2019 document attesting that he had completed the “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” training course, according to a report from Attorney General Letitia James’s office.
Cuomo resigned as Governor and Kathy Hochul was sworn in as New York’s first female governor at the state capitol in Albany.
But not to worry, Cuomo disclosed that he was paid a $3.1 million advance to write his COVID-19 leadership book last year and under his publishing contract will make another $2 million on the memoir over the next two years.
In November, it was discovered that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo personally edited a July 2020 Department of Health report that undercounted nursing home COVID deaths by thousands, the New York State Assembly said in a report.
Cuomo ordered the Department of Health (DOH) to produce the report to combat criticism of his March 25 directive ordering New York nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients, the State Assembly Judiciary Committee said in its report summarizing findings from its eight-month impeachment investigation of the former Democratic governor. Officials knew as they drafted the report that approximately 10,000 nursing home residents had died from the virus at the time, but the final version of the report only disclosed approximately 6,500 deaths, a figure that reflected only the residents who were physically present at a nursing home at the time of their death, the report said.
“Throughout the drafting process, the former Governor reviewed and edited the draft DOH Report on multiple occasions, and made edits to strengthen the defense of the March 25 Directive,” the report stated.
“The evidence obtained in our investigation indicates that the former Governor and his senior staff were not fully transparent with the public regarding the number of COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents,” the report added. “The Committee is cooperating with law enforcement with respect to these issues.”
So, yeah, I’d skip Christmas at the Cuomo’s this year.
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