From posting court documents in court to spending the night with the other woman involved in his alleged affair: The early transcripts of CNN host Chris Cuomo’s 1,000-word apology show that his treatment of his mistress has severely damaged his credibility.
Cuomo’s apology came on Friday, nearly five weeks after the Daily News broke the news of his affair with Rachel Mitchell, a radio host who is pregnant with his child and is at the center of a public investigation into whether he violated a court order by secretly posting divorce documents in court.
At least one version of the attack ad took the charge a step further by featuring a woman and “Cuomo,” the tagline representing his reputation as a liberal voice.
Read: Cuomo’s affair fits into a broader assault on women and power Read more
It did not take long for Cuomo’s allies to line up behind him. The New York Times reported that Cuomo’s longtime friend and liberal ally Barbara Walters stood by the host on Monday, while other members of his team appeared on CNN, at CNN’s expense, to defend him.
But a 1,000-word interview published on Friday that Cuomo conducted by phone from his home in Washington DC only bolstered the view that he has repeatedly undermined himself.
The apology read by Cuomo included a statement in which he said he should have been more considerate with Mitchell, and in which he expressed regret for using the word “babysitter” to describe her service to him and his family. Cuomo also apologized for a comment he made that implied his wife had been less present than he should have been because of the affair, and for working with Mitchell in his home.
Play Video 1:00 Chris Cuomo apologises for comments about girlfriend – video
It was unclear whether those comments would have been different if the scandal had not resulted in him losing his co-hosting duties on “New Day” with Michaela Pereira in June.
In another portion of the transcripts, Cuomo was repeatedly pressed by his interviewer, Stephanie Ruhle, as to whether he had given Mitchell inappropriate gifts and whether he had spent the night with her, information he had not shared when his apology was first published on CNN on Tuesday.
Cuomo answered he had checked with his family and had no intention of impropriety with his wife, Sandra Lee, and that he had in fact given cash and a diamond necklace to Mitchell. He said he did not recall whether he had spent the night with her, even though the two went out for drinks and dinner prior to “my tryst” with Mitchell.
Read: Cuomo offers ‘annulment’ of affair with mistress after Hannity exposes them Read more
He added that he would not have shared the details of his confession with Mitchell but decided against doing so because it was “his sense of common decency to the people he’s worked with and had relationships with that what he shared was appropriate”.
Cuomo’s apology came only three days after he disclosed the affair to his wife and four days after his former MSNBC colleague Rachel Maddow published details from her interview with Mitchell.
She first told CNN she had suspicions in January that Cuomo had been having an affair with her. He denied those allegations until she texted him on 21 August about her pregnancy, after which they were detained. He went to Maine to have a termination.