Allison Gollust: CNN Executive Who Had 'Secret Affair' with Jeff Zucker Fired After Probe Finds She Violated Company Policies

The former marketing and public relations executive slammed WarnerMedia for publicly announcing her retirement before she had an opportunity to do so herself.

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Allison Gollust, CNN's chief marketing officer, resigned on Tuesday after investigation found that she and the network's former boss Jeff Zucker, along with Chris Cuomo, violated the company's policies, WarnerMedia said. The news comes less than two weeks after Zucker resigned from the post of CNN's president over an undisclosed "consensual relationship" with a colleague. The colleague was later revealed to be Gollust.

According to WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, the 49-year-old quit the network after a third-party inquiry into "problems linked with Chris Cuomo and former Governor Andrew Cuomo." Interestingly, Gollust had said that she would not resign from the network on the day Zucker resigned.

Proved Guilty

Allison Gollust
Allison Gollust Twitter

WarnerMedia said in a statement that a third-party review found Zucker, Gollust, and former "Cuomo Prime Time" host Cuomo had broken company regulations. It didn't specify which policies the former employees violated. Following the Gollust resigned, although she had earlier said that she would continue to work with the network despite maintaining an "undisclosed relationship" with Zucker.

"Based on interviews of more than 40 individuals and a review of over 100,000 texts and emails, the investigation found violations of Company policies, including CNN's News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo," Kilar wrote in the memo.

The investigation was launched in September and concluded last week. "I realize this news is troubling, disappointing, and frankly, painful to read. These are valid feelings many of you have," Kilar wrote.

Allison Gollust with Jeff Zucker
Allison Gollust with Jeff Zucker Twitter

Gollust's resignation form CNN comes less than two weeks after Zucker left the network after failing to reveal his romantic relationship with Gollust to the network, which he said came to light during CNN's investigation into Cuomo.

Cuomo was fired in December for assisting his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in preparing his defence in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. Before joining CNN, Gollust worked as Andrew Cuomo's communications director, according to CNN.

Allison Gollust
Allison Gollust YouTube grab

However, sources and several employees at CNN claim that Zucker and Gollust, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of CNN, has been have been involved in a secret romance for more than 10 years.

Gollust Blasts CNN

Gollust's exit now puts an end to the entire investigation, with all three — Zucker, Cuomo and herself — out of the network now. Gollust's exit was quite an unceremonious affair and she seems to be quite furious. According to a statement acquired by CNN, the former marketing and public relations executive slammed WarnerMedia for publicly announcing her retirement before she had an opportunity to do so herself.

Jeff Zucker
Jeff Zucker Screen grab - Twitter

Gollust released a statement of her own, per Dylan Byers at Puck News. "I had hoped to share my news with you tonight myself, and WarnerMedia had assured me I could do that. Unfortunately they jumped the gun, breaking their promise. I am sorry you had to learn this from someone other than me."

"Here is what I am about to say publicly, but I wanted to share with you first. WarnerMedia's statement tonight is an attempt to retaliate against me and change the media narrative in the wake of their disastrous handling of the last two weeks."

"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."

Allison Gollust with former husband William Hult
Allison Gollust with former husband William Hult Twitter

"But I do so with my head held high, knowing I gave my heart and soul to working with the finest journalists in the world. With much love and gratitude," Gollust signed her goodbye message to her colleagues.

Although both Zucker and Gollust are out of the network now, the status of their affair isn't known.

Zucker and Gollust have known each other for more than 20 years now and according to other CNN employees their affair was an open secret. Zucker started working for CNN in 2010, and soon brought Gollust aboard the network after she spent time working for then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

According to sources, Zucker and Gollust's affair was the "worst kept secret in TV" but they conspired to keep it out of the media for years with a web of lies.

Gollust previously worked as Andrew Cuomo's communications director in 2012. Moreover, both Gollust and Zucker had lived in the Upper East Side apartment building with their former spouses in separate units on different floors.

According to Page Six, Zucker moved Gollust into the same building where he and his then-wife of 21 years, Caryn Zucker, lived before their divorce in 2019.