NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
A new bombshell report about the ongoing turmoil at CNN revealed one of its recently-ousted top executives colluded with its now-fired top anchor in aiding the now-disgraced New York governor in his sexual harassment scandal.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Allison Gollust, who resigned as CNN’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, aided Chris Cuomo in shielding his brother, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who she herself previously worked for as a communications aide, according to an internal network probe.
CNN TURMOIL: ALLISON GOLLUST REPORTEDLY SENT TOPIC TO PRODUCERS ANDREW CUOMO WANTED TO DISCUSS IN INTERVIEW
“As part of a wide-ranging probe into Chris Cuomo’s assistance of his brother, investigators hired by CNN reviewed text messages between Ms. Gollust and Chris Cuomo, who was fired by the network in December,” WSJ wrote. “In one of them, Ms. Gollust—who prior to working at CNN was briefly a top aide to Andrew Cuomo—sent Chris Cuomo a sentence she said she would have suggested adding in a statement Andrew Cuomo issued in February of last year, after an accuser went public, some of the people said.”
“In another message, she asked Chris Cuomo whether another accuser ever said publicly that the then-governor had never touched her—something Ms. Gollust said Chris Cuomo had told her in a previous conversation, those people said. Ms. Gollust went on to tell Chris Cuomo that if such a statement existed, CNN should report it, they said. There was also a message in which Ms. Gollust conversed with Chris Cuomo about the lawyers assigned by the New York attorney general to investigate Andrew Cuomo, they said,” the report continued.
Risa Heller, a spokeswoman for Gollust, said Gollust “never offered advice or counsel to Andrew Cuomo. Period. If she wanted to advise the governor, she could have called or texted him directly (she didn’t).”
ALLISON GOLLUST RESIGNS FROM CNN FOLLOWING JEFF ZUCKER OUSTER
“Now 10 days after she resigned, WarnerMedia has offered their fourth reason (or maybe fifth? it’s hard to keep track) for why Allison resigned — the farfetched notion she was laundering covert advice to the Governor through casual conversations with a colleague is patently ridiculous,” Heller told Fox News Digital in a statement. “These are innocuous, mundane conversations that are being spun into a nefarious tale. The continued retaliatory smear campaign against a woman who spent nine years serving as the fiercely loyal steward of CNN’s brand, integrity and journalism is despicable, and being used as retrofitted justification for an unmerited dismissal. It is misleading and wrong.”
A spokesman for Chris Cuomo told Fox News Digital he had no interest in “finger pointing between Ms. Gollust and WarnerMedia,” adding, “Chris’s lawyer has been requesting to see the results of WarnerMedia’s investigation for weeks, and the right thing to do is for WarnerMedia to honor that request and also make the results public.”
WSJ also reported that investigators requested the phones of Gollust and CNN president Jeff Zucker, who was ousted after failing to acknowledge his consensual relationship with her to his employer. And while Zucker complied, Gollust’s phone “didn’t have all of the communications investigators were seeking.”
“Investigators later asked Ms. Gollust for her BlackBerry, and she provided her newest BlackBerry device, they said. Investigators later determined that they were still missing communications from Ms. Gollust, the people said. The investigators raised the issue to Ms. Gollust, and she handed in a third device, her older BlackBerry, they said,” WSJ wrote. “A person close to Ms. Gollust said she gave investigators the phones she was asked for each time she was asked for them.”
According to Gollust’s representative, per WSJ, “WarnerMedia investigators have been fully aware of Ms. Gollust’s communications since the middle of January, before the company finished its investigation.”
CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
CHRIS CUOMO ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN BOMBSHELL REPORT ABOUT CNN TURMOIL
The Wall Street Journal previously reported employees at CNN and parent company WarnerMedia believed Gollust’s statement addressing her relationship with ousted CNN president Jeff Zucker, who resigned earlier this month for failing to acknowledge the affair, was “misleading.”
Following the announcement of Zucker’s resignation, Gollust issued her own statement suggesting their relationship “changed during COVID.”
“Ms. Gollust’s decision to put a timeline on the evolution of the relationship rankled some employees at WarnerMedia and CNN, who believed it had turned romantic before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to some of the people familiar with the matter,” WSJ reported last Friday.
“Allison has been clear that her relationship with Jeff changed during COVID, and regrets that they didn’t properly disclose it to WarnerMedia at that time. Continuing to publicly debate the private details of her personal life reeks of sexism and only further underscores WarnerMedia’s retaliatory actions against her,” Gollust’s spokesperson told Fox News.
Reports previously alleged Gollust’s relationship with Zucker dates back to 1996 when she was a “trainee” and he was the executive producer of NBC’s “Today.”
The New York Times also reported that Gollust forwarded topics the governor wanted to discuss for a CNN interview in March 2020, a revelation from the network’s investigation.
Heller previously told Fox News, “Because she had previously worked in the Cuomo Administration, Allison acted as the principal booker for Governor Cuomo during the early days of the pandemic, so he could share critical public health information on CNN’s air. This was well known by the entire network, and many producers relied on her for it on a regular basis.”
The CNN lovebirds were also reportedly “instrumental” in the televised Cuomo Brothers interviews in 2020, and Gollust personally appealed to the governor to continue his CNN appearances when his office began resisting. Reports alleged both Gollust and Zucker provided “talking points” to Cuomo in the early months of the pandemic to combat then-President Trump.
The growing controversy stem from CNN’s investigation into Chris Cuomo, who was fired in December after he was suspended for his role in aiding Andrew Cuomo during the now-ex governor’s sexual harassment scandal.
It was previously reported that Cuomo was terminated after CNN learned about a sexual misconduct allegation made by a former junior colleague of his during their time at ABC News. But a bombshell report from The New York Times revealed the “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor was accused of 2011 sexual assault.
The letter sent to CNN by attorney Debra Katz, who represents Cuomo’s accuser, revealed the anchor contacted the woman “seemingly out of the blue” “at the height of the #MeToo uprising” following the downfalls of media icons like Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer and that, according to the Times, Cuomo “proposed arranging a CNN segment about the company where she worked doing public relations. The woman tried to avoid any contact with Mr. Cuomo, but CNN ultimately broadcast a segment anyway.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
A representative for Chris Cuomo told Fox News Digital the claims “are false. He was never asked about the allegations prior to being terminated or given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.”
Cuomo was previously accused of sexual harassment by veteran TV producer Shelley Ross, who alleged that Cuomo grabbed her buttock at a 2005 event as ABC colleagues. Ross produced the email he had sent to her apologizing for the incident in the guest essay she penned in the New York Times last year.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-allison-gollust-chris-cuomo-andrew-cuomo-sexual-harassment-scandal