The 3rd Main Player in CNN Scandal Is Also Out

Allison Gollust found to have violated company policies
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2022 12:25 AM CST
Colleague Jeff Zucker Had Relationship With Also Leaves CNN
Allison Gollust, communications director for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is shown in this photo, Jan. 3, 2013, in Albany, N.Y.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

(Newser) – Jeff Zucker's key lieutenant at CNN—and the woman with whom he had an undisclosed romantic relationship—is also stepping down, less than two weeks after Zucker's resignation as the network's president. Allison Gollust was named alongside Zucker and Chris Cuomo as now-former employees who violated company policies, according to the just-wrapped-up investigation into the issues surrounding Cuomo's involvement with his brother Andrew Cuomo's scandal. A memo to staffers Tuesday night says Gollust resigned as CNN Worldwide’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer after the investigation was completed, CNN reports. The specific alleged infractions were not revealed, the Washington Post reports.

Gollust, however, says the statement on her departure "is an attempt to retaliate against me and change the media narrative in the wake of their disastrous handling of the last two weeks." She adds, "It is deeply disappointing that after spending the past nine years defending and upholding CNN's highest standards of journalistic integrity, I would be treated this way as I leave. But I do so with my head held high, knowing that I gave my heart and soul to working with the finest journalists in the world." The extensive investigation comes as CNN is preparing for a possible lawsuit from Cuomo related to his firing in December. While it started as a Cuomo-centered probe, sources say it evolved into "a broader look at Mr. Zucker's handling of the anchor and his interactions with the Cuomos."

And the New York Times is out with more on that: The newspaper says that in early December, a woman who worked with Cuomo at ABC years ago came to CNN and accused Cuomo of sexual assault back then; she says that a decade later, as the #MeToo movement made waves, he offered to do a story on the public relations firm where she worked in what she saw as an attempt "to discourage her from going on the record about his sexual misconduct," her lawyer says. The Times says this accusation sped up the process of Cuomo's termination; a rep for Cuomo says the story is false. Cuomo's camp also says Zucker and Gollust were not forced out due to their relationship, but due to the fact that they both knew and approved of Cuomo's assisting his brother, the Wall Street Journal reports. (Read more Chris Cuomo stories.)

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