Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen resigns in wake of Cuomo scandal

In 2019, Tchen reached out to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to put her in touch with actor Jussie Smollett’s family after Smollett reported that he was a victim of an attack in River North.

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Tina Tchen speaks onstage during The 2020 MAKERS Conference at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on February 12, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Tina Tchen speaks onstage during The 2020 MAKERS Conference at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown on February 12, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

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NEW YORK — Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen resigned Thursday in the wake of revelations that leaders of the sexual harassment victims’ advocacy group advised former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on how to handle allegations made against him.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Tchen — the former chief of staff to Michelle Obama — said she’s “spent a career fighting for positive change for women” but she wasn’t the right person to lead the #MeToo-era organization at this time.

“I am especially aware that my position at the helm of TIME’S UP has become a painful and divisive focal point, where those very women and other activists who should be working together to fight for change are instead battling each other in harmful ways,” she wrote.

Tchen’s resignation comes on the heels of the departure of Roberta Kaplan, who stepped down as the chair of the board of directors Aug. 9.

In 2019, Tchen reached out to Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx to put her in touch with actor Jussie Smollett’s family after Smollett reported that he was a victim of an attack in River North.

Tchen passed Foxx’s number to a relative of the actor, and the ensuing conversations with the family member were cited as to why Foxx recused herself from Smollett’s prosecution when he was initially charged.

Smollett was accused of making a false report to Chicago police and was indicted in March 2019 on 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly lying about being attacked in a hate crime. Weeks later, the state’s attorney’s office abruptly dropped the charges, sparking outrage and confusion. Nearly a year later — in February 2020 —Smollett was indicted again by Special Prosecutor Dan Webb, who has criticized Foxx’s decision to dismiss the initial charges.

Smollett is awaiting trial on the latest charges

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