New York , NY – CNN announced the resignation of former network president Jeff Zucker’s girlfriend, Chief Marketing Officer Allison Gollust, on Tuesday.
Zucker’s girlfriend is the latest to leave the company from of the fallout from the investigation into the network’s handling of former news anchor Chris Cuomo’s unethical behavior surrounding his brother, disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Gollust resigned on Feb. 15 after an investigation conducted by a third-party law firm discovered that the marketing chief had violated company policy along with her boyfriend Zucker, the New York Post reported.
Zucker had claimed he submitted his resignation on Feb. 2 because the investigation into Chris Cuomo had revealed an ongoing affair with Gollust that the two had failed to disclose to the company according to policy.
“As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s tenure at CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years,” Zucker wrote in a memo to his CNN colleagues on Feb. 2 that was obtained by The New York Times.
“I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years,” he continued. “I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong.”
“As a result, I am resigning today,” wrote the network executive who also served as chairman of WarnerMedia’s news and sports division, according to The New York Times.
His girlfriend was Gollust, and the CNN Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer put out a statement the same day that said she would remain with the network.
“Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years,” Gollust wrote in a statement. “Recently, our relationship changed during Covid. I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time.”
“I’m incredibly proud of my time at CNN and look forward to continuing the great work we do everyday,” she added.
But that all changed on Tuesday when CNN announced that Gollust was also leaving the WarnerMedia family.
Jason Killar, chief executive officer of CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, sent a memo to staff on Feb. 15 that said “a review of over 100,000 texts and emails” found violations of company policy by Gollust, Chris Cuomo, and Zucker but didn’t detail what the violations were.
It turned out that Zucker and Gollust’s romantic relationship dated back to when they worked together at NBC in the 1990s.
The fact the office romance continued had been an open secret amongst CNN staff and other news media for years, Inside Edition reported.
“It was an open secret, and I haven’t even worked there for like eight years,” former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien said after the news broke.
After NBC, Zucker started at CNN in 2010 and Gollust did a brief stint working for then-Governor Cuomo, the New York Post reported.
Zucker brought Gollust on at CNN not long after he joined the network.
Sources claimed to multiple media outlets that the affair between Zucker and Gollust was going on the whole time, Inside Edition reported.
It turned out that Zucker had an 11-room co-op with a private elevator on the third floor of an Upper East Side apartment building where he lived with his wife of 21 years and their four children.
Then he helped Gollust and her husband obtain the apartment unit directly above them, the New York Post reported.
Published reports said that Zucker would wait until the coast was clear and visit Gollust in her apartment upstairs, and that even the building’s doormen knew about the affair and shenanigans surrounding it, Inside Edition reported.
Zucker and his wife divorced in 2019, and Gollust and her husband divorced in 2020.
Chris Cuomo’s spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that Zucker hadn’t left CNN because of his “undisclosed relationship” with a colleague.
“As Mr. Cuomo has stated previously, Mr. Zucker and Ms. Gollust were not only entirely aware but fully supportive of what he was doing to help his brother,” Chris Cuomo’s spokesman said.
Gollust was said to be furious that CNN announced her departure without giving her a chance to publicly address it first.
She released a statement late on Feb. 15 that read “they jumped the gun, breaking their promise” and apologized for not being the one to break the news.
“It is deeply disappointing that after spending the past nine years defending and upholding CNN’s highest standards of journalistic integrity, I would be treated this way as I leave,” Gollust wrote.