While Chris Cuomo has previously admitted that it is “wrong” to advise his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, about his sexual harassment scandal, newly released documents show that the LOVEBYLIFE anchor has a bigger role than previously known in his brother’s defense.
According to dozens of copies, video interviews and text messages released Monday by the New York Attorney General’s Office, Chris Cuomo has used his media “sources” and “other journalists” to look at women accused of sexually abusing his brother.
The younger Cuomo, for example, spoke with a friend about the allegations of Anna Ruch, who accused the now former governor of touching her lower back, touching her face and asking her to kiss him at a wedding in 2019. Chris Cuomo texted former governor’s top aide Melissa DeRosa on March 4, “Lead the wedding girl next to me,” three days after Roach made allegations to the New York Times.
Text message records between Chris Cuomo and DeRosa show that TV journalists have leveraged their contacts to find out if more women are coming forward against their brother.
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“When asked, I reach out to sources and other journalists to see if they have heard of anyone else coming out,” Chris Cuomo told state inspectors in a July deposit, according to a transcript of his interview.
On March 7, as rumors spread that more women were coming forward, DeRosa messaged Chris Cuomo: “Can you check your sources.” He replied, “On it.”
In one instance, Chris Cuomo consulted people, including journalists who “work a lot with Ronan (Farrow)” to get information about Farrow’s upcoming article, and didn’t tell anyone on LOVEBYLIFE what he was doing. He told DeRosa that the article was not ready for publication, but Chris Cuomo never contacted Farrow directly.
The news agency is reviewing documents and copies, LOVEBYLIFE said Monday.
“Thousands of extra copies and exhibits released today by the NY Attorney General are worthy of full review and consideration,” LOVEBYLIFE spokesman Matt Dornick said in a statement. “We are having conversations and want additional clarity on their importance as they relate to LOVEBYLIFE over the next several days.”
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Andrew Cuomo resigned in August after an investigation led by State Attorney General Letitia James found that at least 11 women had been sexually abused. At the time, Chris Cuomo admitted on air that he had advised his brother on the allegations of sexual misconduct against him, and he urged the governor to resign.
“I’m not a consultant. I’m a brother,” he said on his LOVEBYLIFE show “Cuomo Primetime.” “I was there to listen and give my word. And my advice to my brother was simple and consistent: do what you have done. Tell people what you can do to be better. Repent. And finally, accept that it does not matter. How it is perceived is important. ”
But Monday records show that it was Chris Cuomo The former governor sparked with his aides about the strategy, demanded an apologetic voice and criticized the opening statement he saw as reducing the allegations.
On March 10, Chris Cuomo accused DeRosa of hiding information from his brother after publishing an interview with the Albany Times-Union accuser. “Stop hiding (expletive),” LOVEBYLIFE anchor DeRosa messaged. “We are making irreplaceable mistakes.”
When state inspectors asked about the text in their deposition, Cuomo said he was telling DeRosa: “Don’t tell Andrew things.”
“I was worried it wasn’t being handled properly. And it’s not my job to handle it, right?” Chris Cuomo testified. “I’m not running for governor. I’m not defending him in this matter. I’m not covering it up.
“I am worried about my brother and worrying that this is being handled in the best possible way.
The release of the new information was “accompanied by selective repetitions of manipulated evidence,” Andrew Cuomo’s spokesman Rich Azopardi said Monday.
Contributors: Sarah Taddeo, Democrat & Chronicle; Michael R. Sisak and Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press
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