[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Chris Cuomo is opening up about his mental health struggles since getting fired from CNN.
Back in 2021, the Cuomo Prime Time host was fired “immediately” from his job just days after an investigation began to look into his involvement with aiding his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, against sexual harassment claims. According to the New York Times in December 2021, attorney Debra Katz — who represents Andrew’s accuser Charlotte Bennett — contacted CNN about another client with accusations against Chris.
Per the report, it was unclear if the woman’s allegations influenced the company’s decision to let the journalist go at the time. However, a spokesperson for CNN confessed in a statement to Deadline later that week the accusation may have had something to do with it, saying:
“Based on the report we received regarding Chris’s conduct with his brother’s defense, we had cause to terminate. When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action.”
Soon after, Chris’ rep denied it, calling the termination “unwarranted”:
“These apparently anonymous allegations are not true. To the extent that they were sent to CNN to negate what Chris Cuomo told his audience, he fully stands by his on-air statements about his connection to these issues, both professionally and in a profoundly personal way. If the goal in making these false and unvetted accusations was to see Mr. Cuomo punished by CNN, that may explain his unwarranted termination.”
Last year Chris set out to sue the news network for wrongful termination, seeking as much as $60 million in damages, and that case is believed to be ongoing. But now, on Wednesday’s episode of Anthony Scaramucci‘s Open Book podcast, we’re getting a glimpse into what really was going on in the journalist’s head at the time of the scandal. Candidly, he explained he was in a very bad mental state:
“I had to accept [my firing] because I was going to kill everybody, including myself. Things can consume you.”
Luckily, the 52-year-old said he put his best foot forward and began going to therapy after he was “s**t canned” by his bosses. He even admitted to making “a lot of mistakes”:
“There is damage that is relatable, there is damage that is unrelatable to people that I have to deal with, that I am working on.”
Since leaving CNN, the journalist has found a home at NewsNation (with soon-to-be coworkers Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes), but he says he’s embarrassed that he doesn’t get the viewership he used to:
“At CNN and I wasn’t set up to be [No. 1]. I wasn’t the big name there, I didn’t have the big team, they didn’t do the advertising about me. But I was still No. 1. Why? Because it was the best show. Because I was giving people what they needed in that moment … It’s hard to keep perspective on that because it’s kind of embarrassing.”
The newscaster realizes he’s never going to live up to the position he used to hold again, saying:
“I will never be [No. 1] again. I believe that was taken, I believe wrongly. I will litigate that. I am not going to bitch about it in the press.”
Chris said he’s also in contact with his publishers and they’re discussing his book that was canceled after his firing — so maybe a new book is coming soon.
You can listen to the episode in full HERE.
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If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Consider contacting the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, by calling, texting, or chatting, or go to 988lifeline.org.
[Image via YouTube/CNN]