CNN’s Chris Cuomo erupted at a man in public who apparently called him “Fredo,” in a wild moment caught on video that went viral Monday night.
The encounter between Cuomo and the man happened at a Shelter Island bar — that appears to be Sunset Beach — on Sunday. The video, surreptitiously filmed by the man Cuomo was shouting at, was uploaded to Twitter by a user who said he was sent the clip.
“Punk-ass bitches from the right call me Fredo,” Cuomo told the man, who claimed he thought the CNN anchor was named Fredo. “My name is Chris Cuomo. I’m an anchor on CNN. Fredo is from The Godfather.”
“They use it as an Italian aspersion. Any of you Italian?” Cuomo continued. “It’s an insult to your fucking people. It’s like the N-word for us.”
They went back and forth, and at one point Cuomo said, “I’ll fucking ruin your shit. I’ll fucking throw you down these stairs like a fucking punk.”
A CNN spokesperson told Mediaite in a statement, “Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup. We completely support him.”
Cuomo is receiving support from outside CNN as well. His 9 p.m. rival at Fox News, Sean Hannity, tweeted “good for [Cuomo]” in response to the video. “He’s out with his 9 year old daughter, and his wife, and this guy is being a jackass in front of his family,” Hannity wrote. “Imho Chris Cuomo has zero to apologize for. He deserves the apology.”
Cuomo is off air this week, but he will return on Monday. CNN told Mediaite his vacation was pre-planned.