CNN could possibly face a lawsuit storm if it is proven in court that CNN knew of allegations of sexual misconduct against Chris Cuomo, its star anchor. However, some attorneys said that CNN looked the other way. Benjamin Eghbali, CEO of the California Eghbali Law Firm, said that scandal-plagued CNN could be in trouble for “seven-figure” unless it distances itself from Cuomo. Cuomo Prime Time was the network’s most-watched program and broadcast until last week.
Eghbali, a lawyer who has represented victims in hundreds of cases of sexual harassment, stated that Cuomo’s case will be treated similarly to the allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Eghbali stated that they would try to put all the blame on Chris Cuomo and claim they didn’t know. He said that the plaintiff’s job will be to prove that CNN had some knowledge and that CNN looked the other way. If they can’t prove that burden, they won’t be able to hold CNN accountable.
CNN’s star anchor was suspended after it learned that he had helped his brother, the former gov of NY. The allegations of sexual misconduct were made just days later. Andrew Cuomo has beaten his harassment claims.
The anonymous woman took her accusations against Chris Cuomo on Wednesday to CNN through Debra Katz, her lawyer. Her lawyer stated that she was disgusted by his hypocrisy, and attempts to discredit women making similar accusations against his brother.
Shortly after CNN fired Cuomo Prime Tim” anchor, the woman’s complaint was made public. Cuomo was also charged earlier this year with harassment by a former colleague at ABC News Shelley Ross. He reaffirmed his previous apology, but claimed that he did not intend to make contact with her buttocks without her permission.
Eghbali stated that Cuomo would likely attempt to prove the woman’s claims against him were consensual – a view shared by Karen Agnifilo, ex-chief assistant district attorney, now with Geragos & Geragos.
Agnifilo stated that Cuomo, the former CNN anchor will likely use the same defense as his brother when faced with similar allegations. Agnifilo stated that CNN could play a role in the case and that the network would likely need to pursue civil litigation in court. This will include “civil discovery.”
CNN will need to hand over emails, employee files, and other discovery-related documents. Agnifilo stated that people will be required to take depositions or interrogatories. Depending on their knowledge, what will come out will determine whether they were able to answer questions.
According to the network, Cuomo was terminated but they will continue to investigate.
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