More On: Allison Gollust
Former CNN executive Allison Gollust was discovered to have enabled former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to dictate the questions he wanted to be asked during an on-air interview during the early days of the outbreak, according to a report Friday.
Gollust, 49, who briefly served as Cuomo's communications director, forwarded the proposed subjects along to junior producers and wrote "Done" in an e-mailed response to Cuomo's request before a 2020 interview, The New York Times reported.
According to the article, the communications were discovered during an internal inquiry into suspected workplace misbehavior by since-fired star anchor Chris Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo, the ex-brother, governor's was sacked in December after CNN received a letter alleging he sexually harassed a former coworker in his office during a foodless "lunch" in 2011, according to the tabloid. Cuomo has refuted the charge.
Cuomo had come under fire for his attempts to assist his brother in dealing with the sexual-misconduct charges that led him to quit during the summer.
The Washington Post previously reported on former CNN chief Jeff Zucker and his paramour Gollust's uncomfortably close association with Andrew Cuomo, which included personally phoning him to make news segments with his brother and even advising him on what to say during his COVID briefings.
According to reports, Gollust and Zucker — the latter of whom abruptly left CNN last month after their romance was revealed — also provided Andrew Cuomo with unending favorable publicity as a result of their connection.
According to the New York Times, Cuomo informed Gollust, CNN's longstanding communications and marketing manager, that he intended to talk about a recent meeting with then-President Donald Trump and New York's COVID lockdown during a March 28, 2020, appearance. Although the issues were noteworthy, it was rare for a senior executive to be engaged in the pre-interview process with her former company.
According to the publication, Zucker was aware of several of Gollust and Cuomo's conversations.
Zucker was compelled to retire, purportedly for failing to reveal his intimate involvement with Gollust. According to the story, the actual reason for his removal was the intimate connection that investigators discovered between Zucker, Gollust, and the Cuomos after pouring through hundreds of e-mails and texts.
Gollust resigned earlier this week. She faced pressure to step down because corporate brass at CNN found her statement about the extent of her romantic relationship with Zucker to be “misleading,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Gollust said shortly after the consensual workplace romance was made public that her connection with Zucker "changed throughout COVID." According to the Journal, several staff at parent firm WarnerMedia and CNN did not believe it. For years, rumors swirled that the two executives were having an affair, which contributed to the dissolution of both of their marriages.
"Continuing to publicly discuss the intimate aspects of her personal life smells of misogyny and only highlights WarnerMedia's punitive measures against her," a Gollust spokesman told the Journal.
A Gollust spokesman, Risa Heller, also defended her journalistic ethics, claiming that WarnerMedia was unaware of "daily [newsroom] behavior" and drove her out as "retaliation."
According to Heller, Gollust's conversations with Cuomo "in no way implied that inclusion of these issues was a requirement of the interview, nor did she propose that the interview should be confined to these themes."