Nader Deghayes, a CNN political analyst and former employee of the ABC news division, has blasted the network’s internal investigation into his sexual harassment allegations against Chris Cuomo as deeply flawed.
Deghayes told Guardian Australia that he was not contacted by either the CNN HR department or the department of human resources while the company investigated the claims he made in an interview with Mediaite.com, as well as complaints he received from other former employees of Cuomo’s and of Mediaite.
Deghayes said that the network had taken his allegations seriously enough that he expected the investigation – which has so far not commented on their progress, saying it was “dealing with a sensitive matter” – to finish within a couple of weeks.
“That’s how I was expecting that would happen,” Deghayes said. “There’s no rush, it’s not a hurry. But if this is going to be a thorough investigation then it should have been done a long time ago. There should have been an internal investigation, and I was told I was made a complainant on the show.”
His comments are in direct contradiction to the message the network says Cuomo gave on air. On the morning of 6 June, Cuomo emphatically denied that Deghayes’ claims were true: “I know nothing,” he said. “He’s falsely accusing me of things I didn’t do and have never done.”
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The statement from Cuomo was surprising, as the Washington Post had reported on 3 June that the network had received accusations of sexual harassment against Cuomo.
“I know nothing,” he said. “He’s falsely accusing me of things I didn’t do and have never done.”
Deghayes called the current update on the investigation a “patchwork of misdirection and excuses” that he had expected more transparency from the network. “To be honest, I’m more disappointed that we’re not getting answers than I am that there is a internal investigation going on,” he said.
He said he expected his allegations to be dealt with transparently.
“It’s not so much whether or not I’m right,” he said. “It’s whether or not I’m being treated fairly. Why they’re waiting months before a definitive decision about an allegation [against Cuomo] is totally unacceptable. I would rather have answers from CNN than from being told it’s only fair and reasonable for Chris to say ‘I wasn’t accused of anything’.”
The other CNN contributor who made complaints about Cuomo is a public radio reporter, Nicole Perlroth.
In the statement, Maysles and Bloomberg acted as attorneys for Cuomo. A CNN spokesperson told Guardian Australia they could not comment on what had happened internally with the investigation, but noted it was “strictly confidential”.
“CNN has been transparent with our employees about the investigation,” they said. “There are confidentiality agreements in place that prohibit us from sharing details. As it relates to the integrity of the investigation, we’re not able to comment any further.”
CNN declined to answer Guardian Australia’s specific questions about their investigation into Deghayes’ allegations, and the network’s statement to Guardian Australia on Friday remained redacted.
Deghayes joined CNN in September 2016. His contract is set to expire at the end of the year.