Former CNN Reporter Angela Rye Accuses Chris Cuomo of Harassment for Sending ‘Happy New Year Tinsel Crotch’ Text

“I felt like if I called him out I was risking everything I was finally starting to build with the network,” the podcaster says

Former CNN contributor Angela Rye discussed her departure from the network which came shortly after an alleged incident with Chris Cuomo where he screenshotted a bikini picture of Rye that she posted on social media, saying “Happy New Year tinsel crotch.”

During the debut episode of new podcast “Native Land Pod,” co-hosted by Rye, Andrew Gillum, and Tiffany Cross, Rye told a story that she never thought she would share, that “sits at the intersection frankly of power and harassment.”

As Rye recounted receiving the message from Cuomo on New Year’s, she said, “Stunned I read and reread the message a dozen times trying to understand if I somehow brought this on myself,” Rye said, tearing up. “Since whatever you post on social is fair game, right?”

Rye said that she felt as though “the safest place I had on a show on CNN had been compromised.”

The contributor ignored the message and a few hours later Cuomo followed up with a hello. 

“I didn’t respond for two more days despite his plea the next day to call because he wanted to discuss work,” Rye continued. “I tried to punt until after the GA runoffs asking a week later if he still wanted to discuss his work idea despite him mentioning tinsel bikini and tinsel bottom along the way.”

“I felt like if I called him out I was risking everything I was finally starting to build with the network and as someone who is known for being courageous, I cannot begin to tell you how much I felt like we even now feel like a coward,” Rye said. “In 10 short days, I felt like what was the clear ride to the Promised Land turned into quicksand.”

Shortly after the “text exchange that went woefully wrong,” Rye said, “The darling of the network and one of the most influential hosts during Jeff Zucker’s tenure was texting me about a segment idea he had for his primetime show.”

Cuomo suggested he was interested in maintaining a regular guest appearance for Rye on his primetime show, to “check the left.”

Then on Jan. 21, 2021, Rye received a call where she was told that her contract would not be renewed by the network. She was told that “CNN — right after January 6, and a historical election where we got our first ever black VP, who was a woman and my friend — would be focusing more on COVID coverage and less on politics.”

The former CNN contributor said she “knew it was a lie and it was confirmed when two black women were hired for half my current contributor rate right after.”

According to Rye, Cuomo messaged her from a new phone number last year asking if she was angry with him. 

“I was, but I was really mad at myself,” Rye said. “I was mad at myself for not saying anything sooner. Because I was lacking courage and preferring my financial well-being over my mental health not standing up for women who are often left powerless in these situations.”

Rye continued saying, “Truthfully I’m mad about that too. That everyone is giving you a pass for fear of what it might mean to hold you accountable for clearly inappropriate behavior and overstepping.”

The former CNN contributor then apologized “to every woman who needed a voice and I was silent.”

“So no Chris, I won’t be a guest on your program now or later. Thank you for the platform. It was not worth all of the mental and emotional turmoil,” Rye said. “And I thank God that I’m clear about the fact that you can’t take away a voice you never created. You, or the network executives who enabled you.” 

Cross thanked Rye for sharing her story, “Just as a woman who has experienced that.” 

The former MSNBC host then addressed the news media industry as a whole saying “So much of what drives these newsrooms is left in the hands of unchecked white man power.”

“It is not giving away power to have a more inclusive platform is not giving away power to have more inclusive executives in the boardroom,” Cross continued. “You’re actually saving your bottom line. Maybe you save yourself a couple million dollars in lawsuits and complaints and litigation and employment law.”

“And also just try not to be a piece of sh—t and do the right thing,” Cross said. “You know, that shouldn’t be a heavy lift. We manage to do it all the time.”


2 responses to “Former CNN Reporter Angela Rye Accuses Chris Cuomo of Harassment for Sending ‘Happy New Year Tinsel Crotch’ Text”

  1. Cbj Avatar

    The guy is a joke/ trump. What’s amazing me,you question what he says. Is it not important, but running for President .
    He could not name a bible verse,but he says the bibles is amazing. He’s not a Dr. but says put lysol in your body to kill covid. We only talk about trump because he’s an IDIOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT .

  2. Deborah Evans Avatar
    Deborah Evans

    Good for CNN, she was a embarrassment with all that phony ass crying she did all the time. Search the videos.

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