Chris Cuomo is speaking out for the first time about why he hasn't been covering the recent sexual harassment allegations against his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
At the start of his broadcast Monday on CNN's Cuomo Prime Time, Chris, 50, told viewers, "Before we start tonight, let me say something that I am sure very obvious to you who watch my show, and thank you for that. You're straight with me — I'll be straight with you."
"Obviously, I'm aware of what is going on with my brother, and obviously, I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively, and they will continue to do so," the television journalist continued.
Chris ended by saying he has "always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so. I just wanted to tell you that."
"There's a lot of news going on that matters also, so let's get after that," he concluded.
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Chris Cuomo Again Not Allowed to Interview Brother Andrew Cuomo or Cover News About Him for CNN
Three women have accused Andrew, 63, of harassment, including a woman named Anna Ruch who spoke with The New York Times for a piece published Monday.
In the interview, Ruch claims she met the politician at a wedding reception in September 2019, where he made multiple unwanted physical advances on her. He also allegedly asked at one point if he could kiss her.
Ruch joins two former aides who have accused Andrew of harassment, both sexual and otherwise: Charlotte Bennett and Lindsey Boylan.
Andrew and his current aides have vigorously denied both Bennett and Boylan's accounts, calling the latter's "simply false." In a statement over the weekend, Andrew said he "never made advances toward Ms. Bennett nor did I ever intend to act in any way that was inappropriate."
A spokesperson for Andrew did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment on Ruch's claim.
While Monday was the first time Chris has spoken out personally about not covering his brother on CNN, the network issued a statement last month saying that the time of Chris having Andrew on his show had passed.
"The early months of the [COVID-19] pandemic crisis were an extraordinary time," CNN said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Feb. 18. "We felt that Chris speaking with his brother about the challenges of what millions of American families were struggling with was of significant human interest."
At the time, Andrew was at the center of a controversy about how he has handled New York's response to COVID-19 when it comes to nursing homes.
"As a result, we made an exception to a rule that we have had in place since 2013 which prevents Chris from interviewing and covering his brother, and that rule remains in place today," the statement continued. "CNN has covered the news surrounding Governor Cuomo extensively."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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