Another former colleague accuses Chris Cuomo of sexual harassment, says it may have led to her firing 

Dollita Okine January 17, 2024
Angela Rye, CEO of IMPACT Strategies and former CNN political contributor, recently brought sexual harassment accusations against her former CNN colleague Chris Cuomo. Photo Credit: Instagram, Angela Rye

Angela Rye, CEO of IMPACT Strategies and former CNN political contributor, recently brought sexual harassment accusations against her former CNN colleague Chris Cuomo.

Rye launched the first episode of her “Native Land Pod” podcast by discussing her “disappearance” from CNN after several years with the network. She said that before she departed from the network in 2021, she was informed in January 2021 that her contract would not be extended because COVID was becoming more of a priority than politics. She noticed it was “a lie,” though, because “two Black women were hired for half my current contributor rate right after.”

According to Fox News, Rye described an alleged experience that she claimed to have “suppressed for three years.”

She said to the listener and her co-hosts Andrew Gillum and Tiffany Cross, “Just 10 days prior to receiving that call on Jan. 21, the darling of the network and one of the most influential hosts during Jeff Zucker’s tenure was texting me about a segment idea he had for his primetime show. Chris Cuomo was suddenly excited about a prominent regular role for me where I would check the left. Truthfully, I had my doubts on the genuine nature of this idea… Cuomo came up with this particular segment idea after a text exchange that went woefully wrong.” 

She continued, “It all began on New Year’s Day when I posted a picture of myself looking forward to the new year in a gold-sequined bikini on Instagram. Cuomo screenshot the image and said, ‘Happy New Year, tinsel crotch. Stunned, I read and reread the message a dozen times, trying to understand. If I somehow brought this on myself since whatever you post on social is fair game, right? I teared up… I felt like the safest place I had on a show on CNN had been compromised.”

She further alleged that a few hours later, Cuomo texted her to say hello, and the next day, he attempted to call her to “discuss work.” She claimed that after putting off answering him, she enquired as to whether he “still wanted to discuss his work idea despite him mentioning tinsel bikini and tinsel bottom along the way.”

Despite her initial fear of speaking up, she stated that her experience was “so f—ing small compared to what other women in the workplace experience.”

She said she was afraid of what would happen to her family and loved ones if she confronted him, including losing everything she had started building on the network. 

The 44-year-old then appeared to address Cuomo directly with her tearful statement, declaring, “I was mad at myself for not addressing this sooner. I was mad at myself for protecting your image with the Black women I know who loved you and looked forward to hearing your voice.” 

“I know I’m not the only one, and truthfully, I’m mad about that, too, that everyone has given you a pass for fear of what it might mean to hold you accountable for clearly inappropriate behavior and overstepping. I was mad at myself for shrinking in the face of power when people depend on me to stand up, to speak up. This was harder for me because we were legitimately cool. We had a great rapport and I was worried about damaging a friendship and a working relationship that you actually damaged. I tried to redirect you repeatedly and you abused the grace you did not deserve.”

She went on to apologize to all the women her silence might have impacted, as well as to herself. 

“I apologize to the people who experienced this in newsrooms, halls of Congress, the C suite support staff roles, and college lecture halls. I see you and I want you to know you’re not alone. And I apologize to me for minimizing the impact this had on me, for wallowing in shame and shoulda-couldas when I just wasn’t ready to acknowledge or speak on what it is. So no, Chris, I won’t be a guest on your program now or later. Thank you for the platform. It was not worth all of the mental and emotional turmoil, and I thank God that I’m clear about the fact that you can’t take away a voice you never created, you or the network executives who enabled you.”

However, this is merely the most recent complaint leveled against the anchor. CNN sacked Cuomo in 2021 after an unnamed former coworker made a sexual assault complaint against him while the two worked together at ABC News, though Cuomo vehemently denied her charges.

Shelley Ross, a former ABC News producer, came forward months earlier, alleging Cuomo groped her buttocks at a work function in 2005. She even produced an email in which he appeared to admit to the incident and apologize for his actions.

The accusations were made at a time when the once-popular CNN anchor was under investigation following claims that he had secretly assisted his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his sexual harassment controversy, which led to Cuomo’s resignation.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 17, 2024


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