According to a transcript of Chris Cuomo’s testimony to New York state investigators, he spied on Ronan Farrow’s reporting and relayed it back to the governor’s inner circle. Farrow, the Pulitzer Prize winner who helped to launch the MeToo movement by his reporting on Harvey Weinstein, was also a deep dive into the allegations of sexual misconduct by former Gov. Cuomo, the CNN anchor’s brother.
Chris Cuomo acknowledged having contacted Farrow’s colleagues for updates but said it was just “business as usual” to use such methods. State investigators have released text messages that Melissa DeRosa, top Andrew Cuomo’s aide, asked about the CNN anchor on Farrow’s report and replied it wasn’t ready for publication. Farrow’s story was finally published in mid-March. Cuomo’s admission is contrary to what he said to CNN viewers in August when he stated that he had never called the press about his brother’s situation.
The transcript shows that an attorney brought up this topic and asked the host of “Cuomo PrimeTime” if he remembered the governor’s team discussing Farrow’s article.
CNN’s host was asked whether he had discussed Farrow’s reporting with his big sister, to which the CNN host replied yes. He said that he didn’t believe the article was fair and that she was being propped up.
CNN’s host confirmed that the “she” he was referring to was Lindsey Boylan. This was the subject of Farrow’s piece in which Boylan gave her first detailed interview about her allegations of harassment and retaliation from the former governor. Farrow was informed by Boylan that he made the allegation in The New Yorker about her months after she had tweeted her initial statement about then-Gov. Cuomo “sexually harassed” me for many years. Multiple other women made the accusation of Cuomo of sexual harassment after he was accused.
CNN’s Cuomo was then questioned about a March text message in which he stated “If Ronan’s nothing better – than Boylan that’s a great sign,” while texting with DeRosa. When he made that comment, he was then asked what he meant.
Ronan has always had more people. That’s his strength as a journalist. People come to him to understand. He has his critics, I’m sure. Cuomo stated that he is at his best when he has critics. Cuomo said that the context was that he was only writing about Lindsey Boylan and the things he understood to be true. But this was a never-ending cycle that was extremely difficult for a family member.
Cuomo claimed that he did not recall any conversations with other members of the governor’s inner circle regarding additional allegations that could have been reported by Farrow. Cuomo was then reminded by an attorney that he was asked three times before Farrow’s story was published whether he had received any additional information. According to the transcript, Cuomo replied that the story is not ready.
CNN’s Cuomo stated that it’s a great device that he uses to let people know when something’s coming. “You know, so there’s this – this constant speculation game. It is very effective in driving interest in his articles.”
CNN’s most-watched news anchor admitted that he called Farrow’s colleagues and asked them to interfere in the reporting process.
Ronan was not interested in speaking to Cuomo directly but had been on his show. He said he didn’t want to push him around like that and that it’s not right. Cuomo was asked if he was reaching out to people to inquire about articles that could harm his brother. Cuomo stated, “No, not specifically.”
The attorney demanded Cuomo’s confirmation that he called CNN on behalf of his brother or executive chamber to get information. But the CNN host said that he didn’t see it that way.
Cuomo stated that it’s not a loyalty-based company and that if he tried to influence any reporting at CNN, or elsewhere, people would know. And so would many others. The idea that one reporter could call another to learn about the future is business-as-usual.
Boylan, a former Cuomo aide, first came forward in December 2020. She was the first woman who accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct. She was among 11 people who were part of the investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia Jams into Governor. Cuomo was forced to resign.