CNN fires host Chris Cuomo amid sexual harassment claims

Media reports say Chris Cuomo was accused of harassing several women days before he was fired from CNN

CNN has fired an employee over allegations of sexual harassment.

It said the allegations against presenter Chris Cuomo – which also led to the victim of a suicide being prompted to make a report to police – were found to be “beyond CNN’s tolerance level”.

The outlet said it had established that the investigation included unfounded claims about Mr Cuomo.

A reporter in Wyoming, Miss., alleged Mr Cuomo had exposed himself in her hotel room and once tried to kiss her.

Mr Cuomo had worked for New York’s WBNY since the start of 2016. He joined CNN earlier this year to host OutFront.

He did not appear on OutFront on Monday and had his contract terminated on Saturday.

The 45-year-old was filmed leaving his home on Sunday.

CNN said Mr Cuomo will return to New York for a well-deserved vacation.

A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed that “no grounds for termination were found in the investigation [and] no charges have been filed” – despite CNN reporting that its investigation did not include “any specific allegations of criminal conduct”.

In Wyoming, the reporter, named only as Molly, had to file a police report on Thursday, the day before Mr Cuomo had been interviewed by CNN about the allegations.

Molly said she was working at a local station when she met Mr Cuomo as he was covering the shooting of the Republican party’s vice presidential candidate, Gov. Sarah Palin.

Mr Cuomo had been on the scene, prompting Molly to go to his hotel room to ask questions about the shooting. Molly said Mr Cuomo repeatedly asked to massage her, although she declined.

Mr Cuomo has denied the allegations and said Molly’s hotel room was already booked.

“She has refused to retract or recant her false claims and her story contains countless factual inaccuracies,” Mr Cuomo said in a statement, calling his treatment by Molly “a case of an errant reporter posting unfounded claims and attempting to score cheap points against me for herself”.

Molly, 25, has said on social media that she had already made multiple phone calls and emailed CNN and issued a detailed statement supporting her account.

A CNN executive told the New York Post, which first reported the allegations, that executives on Friday had “repeatedly contacted Molly to offer the option of private mediation to resolve this matter”.

“Instead, Molly’s attorney abruptly took the mediation offer away from us and threatened to file a lawsuit,” the executive said.

“When we asked to see proof of what we’re told she has posted, she refused. Instead, she threw CNN under the bus by letting someone else do her dirty work.”

CNN’s investigation also investigated claims from another woman who worked on OutFront and accused Mr Cuomo of being aggressive and verbally abusive.

The alleged incident was reported to CNN but no action was taken.

The New York-based network said it was “relieved” by the investigation’s results, in which it found “no evidence to corroborate any of the reckless allegations” against Mr Cuomo.

In a statement, CNN said its investigation had included a review of hundreds of hours of footage, as well as in-person interviews and notes from the interviewing of 70 people.

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