John Griffin, Ex-CNN Senior Producer: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

john griffin cnn producer

Instagram Senior producer John Griffin was suspended by CNN after he was arrested on federal charges in December 2021.

John Griffin is a former CNN senior producer who was arrested on federal charges accusing him of attempting to induce minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity at his home in Vermont. The Connecticut resident was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 10, 2021, and taken into custody that same day. He was fired by CNN on December 13, 2021.

The 44-year-old Griffin has been suspended by CNN after the news network learned of the charges against him. He was charged with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity, federal prosecutors said in a press release.

“According to the indictment, from April to July of 2020, Griffin utilized the messaging applications Kik and Google Hangouts to communicate with people purporting to be parents of minor daughters, conveying to them, among other ideas, that a ‘woman is a woman regardless of her age,’ and that women should be sexually subservient and inferior to men. On these communication platforms, Griffin sought to persuade parents to allow him to train their daughters to be sexually submissive,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont said in a statement.

Prosecutors added in the release, “In June of 2020, Griffin advised a mother of 9- and 13-year-old daughters that the mother’s responsibility was to see that her older daughter was ‘trained properly.’ Griffin later transferred over $3,000 to the mother for plane tickets so the mother and her 9-year-old daughter could fly from Nevada to Boston’s Logan airport. The mother and child flew to Boston in July of 2020, where Griffin picked them up in his Tesla and drove them to his Ludlow house. At the house, the daughter was directed to engage in, and did engage in, unlawful sexual activity.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office added, “The indictment also includes specific allegations that Griffin attempted to entice two other children over the internet to engage in sexual activity. In April of 2020, Griffin proposed to engage in a ‘virtual training session’ over a video chat that would include him instructing the mother and her 14-year-old daughter to remove their clothing and touch each other at his direction. In June of 2020, Griffin proposed to a purported mother of a 16-year-old daughter that she take a ‘little mother-daughter trip’ to Griffin’s Ludlow ski house for sexual training involving the child.”

CNN said in a statement issued on December 10, “We take the charges against Mr. Griffin incredibly seriously. We only learned of his arrest this afternoon and have suspended him pending investigation.” CNN added in a statement on December 13, “The charges against Mr. Griffin are deeply disturbing. We learned of his arrest Friday afternoon and terminated his employment Monday.”

Griffin could not be reached for comment by Heavy. Attorney David Kirby, listed in court records as representing Griffin, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Heavy and has not made a public statement about the case against Griffin. According to court documents viewed by Heavy, prosecutors seized items from Griffin as part of a search warrant in September 2020.

Here’s what you need to know about John Griffin:


1. John Griffin Was Active on a Fetish Site Seeking ‘Submissive’ & ‘Open-Minded’ Women & Said During a Chat Session, ‘One of the Big Lies of This Society Is That Women Are Delicate Innocent Angels & They Are in Actuality, Naturally, the Dirtiest S*** Possible in EVERY Metric,’ the FBI Says

john griffin cnn

Federal prosecutorsA screenshot of John Griffin’s arrest warrant.

John Griffin had a profile on alt.com, which described itself as a “BDSM dating, fetish and kink site,” where its “members find alternative, BDSM, bondage and fetish partners,” according to the indictment. Prosecutors said Griffin used the website to seek women who he said in his profile were sexually “submissive” and “open-minded,” prosecutors said. He used the handle, “Admit_It.” He had the profile for several years prior to July 2020, when the investigation began, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said in the indictment that in 2019 and 2020, Griffin communicated with people he met on alt.com using communication platforms like Kik and Google Hangouts, on several occasions. Prosecutors said he used the name “Reflection55” on Kik and his real name on Hangouts.

According to court documents, during chats in 2020, Griffin said he believes there is a “wanton whore” at the “core of any” woman and “a woman is a woman regardless of her age.” He also said he believes in a “‘way of life’ in which women are sexually subservient and inferior to men.” Prosecutors said, “Using Kik and Google Hangouts, John Griffin sought parents who would allow him to train their minor daughters to be sexually subservient.”

john griffin cnn arrested

Federal prosecutorsA screenshot of John Griffin’s arrest warrant.

According to court documents, Griffin told a woman he was chatting with that he had “sexually trained girls as young as 7 years old,” and he thought the woman’s daughter “would be a good candidate for such training alongside her mother.” He told her they would start with a video chat in which Griffin would instruct the 14-year-old girl and her mother to remove their clothing and touch each other, prosecutors said in the indictment. He also said the “sexual training would eventually include in-person meetings featuring ‘spanking’ and ‘c*** worship,'” prosecutors said.

john griffin cnn producer

Federal prosecutorsA screenshot of John Griffin’s arrest warrant.

Prosecutors said in the indictment that during a June 2020 chat with a woman on Kik, who had purported to be the mother of two daughters, aged 9 and 13, Griffin told the mother, “One of the big lies of this society is that women are delicate innocent angels and they are in actuality, naturally, the dirtiest s**** in EVERY metric.” He added, “when handled appropriately, a woman is a woman regardless of her age,” prosecutors said.

Investigators said Griffin sent the woman $2,000 in June 2020 and $1,350 in July 2020 to cover expenses for her and her daughter to fly from Nevada to Boston. According to prosecutors, Griffin then drove his 2019 Red Tesla Model X from Vermont to Logan Airport in Boston to pick up the woman and drive her to his ski house, “where the child was directed to engage in and did engage in illegal sexual activity,” prosecutors said.


2. Griffin Bought the $1.8 Million Vermont House Listed in Court Documents With His Wife in 2020 Using an LLC & He Has 3 Children, Social Media Accounts Show

john griffin mugshot

Vermont State PoliceJohn Griffin in a mugshot from an October 2020 arrest.

Federal prosecutors said in court documents that Griffin and his wife bought the $1.8 million Vermont home in February 2020 using an LLC. GriffSkis LLC was started that same month by Griffin and his wife, according to public records. The business is registered to their $4.3 million Norwalk home, records in Vermont show.

Prosecutors said in the indictment that on February 21, 2020, Griffin, “acting through a Vermont limited liability company, acquired a ski house located at 126 Grouse Lane in Ludlow, Vermont. John Griffin communicated in furtherance of the crimes alleged herein while in or near this ski house, and offered to host mothers and their minor daughters at this location for purposes of sexual training.”

Griffin and his wife live in the Rowayton village in Norwalk, according to public records. Social media pages used by him and his wife show that they have three young children, including a daughter and two sons. Griffin’s wife could not be reached for comment by Heavy.

Griffin does not appear to have a prior criminal record in Connecticut outside of a 2015 citation for operating a vehicle while texting or using a handheld device, according to court records. He was stopped by local police in a traffic stop and paid a fine as a result of that violation, records show. In a motion for pretrial detention, prosecutors said Griffin has a history of alcohol or substance abuse.

In October 2020, Griffin was arrested by the Vermont State Police on a DUI charge after a crash in Plymouth on Vermont Route 100, according to a press release. The crash happened about 6 p.m. on October 11, 2020, police said. Griffin was driving a Chevrolet Silverdo pickup truck and crashed into another car, police said.

The state police said in the press release, “During the course of the investigation, Troopers observed operator #1, John J. Griffin, displaying signs of alcohol impairment. Griffin was screened for Driving Under the Influence and subsequently taken into custody. Griffin was transported to the Vermont State Police Barracks for processing. Griffin was released with a citation to appear in Vermont Superior Court, Windsor Criminal Division to answer to the charge of Driving Under the Influence. The Vermont State Police were assisted by the Plymouth Fire Department and both vehicles were towed from the scene.”


3. John Griffin Has Worked as a Senior Producer at CNN Since 2013, Including ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ With Recently Fired Anchor Chris Cuomo, He Says on LinkedIn

John Griffin has worked at CNN since April 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was based at CNN’s offices in the Time Warner Center in New York City, he said on LinkedIn.

Griffin was at one point the lead anchor’s senior producer on the morning show “New Day,” according to his LinkedIn profile. He said he worked, “shoulder-to-shoulder with lead anchor Chris Cuomo, seeing him through each show and producing live breaking news across the country and around the world.”

Cuomo was fired by CNN on December 5, 2021, after a review of his actions in helping his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as he faced an investigation into sexual harassment and sexual misconduct accusations, according to CNN.

Griffin wrote on LinkedIn that he is an “entreprenurial producer who combines uncommon technical skills with exceptional, experienced-honed editorial judgement, always with an eye towards ‘how can we do it better,’ ‘how can we move it forward, ‘how can we add value for the audience?'”

Griffin’s Instagram profile shows several photos from his career working at CNN, including alongside Cuomo. He posted numerous pictures from Pope Francis’ visit to the United States and Cuba in 2015.


4. Griffin, Who Previously Worked at ABC News, Fox News & CBS News, Graduated From Princeton University in 1999

Griffin graduated from the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York, in 1995, according to his LinkedIn profile. He then attended Princeton University, graduating in 1999 with a degree in English, he wrote on the LinkedIn resume.

Griffin began his career in media and journalism as an assistant assignment editor at CBS News’ “The Early Show” in New York City in 1999, where he, “Produced numerous live shots across the country, booked guests and pitched / assigned segments.” He then worked as an associate producer for CBS “Morning News” and CBS News’ “The Early Show” from 2000 to 2002, where she “Produced the 4:30am news and The Early Show’s newsblocks. Cut all tape daily, updating both broadcasts in the event of breaking news.”

He then worked from 2002 to 2005 at the Fox News Channel, first as the chief news write for “On the Record With Greta Van Susteren, where he, “Wrote the primetime broadcast, booked guests and produced segments.” He then was a founding producer and chief news writer for Fox News Radio, where he, “Helped found Fox News Channel’s syndicated radio network with a staff of four. Produced hourly newscasts, managed the technical plant.”

Before moving to CNN, Griffin worked at ABC News for nearly eight years, from 2005 to 2013. He was a chief news writer and line producer for ABC News Now, the founding producer for ABC News on MTVu, where, “a unique partnership between ABC News and MTV’s college network designed to reach a demographic previously untapped by traditional news outlets. ‘One-man-band’ nature of the project required daily design, writing and Avid editing as well as managing the staff.” He was then the lead home page editor from 2008 to 2011 and the coordinating producer and special projects and mobile editor for ABCNews.com from 2011 to 2013, he said on LinkedIn.


5. Griffin, Who Made His First Court Appearance on December 10, Faces 10 Years to Life in Prison if Convicted & Federal Prosecutors Say They Intend to Seek to Seize His House in Vermont, His Tesla, His Mercedes & Other Property

Griffin was arrested in New Haven, Connecticut, on the morning of December 10 by Vermont-based FBI Special Agent Antoine Waite and he made his first court appearance later that day in New Haven federal court. He was ordered held in the custody of the U.S. Marshals by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector and will be taken to Vermont for a court hearing tentatively set for Wednesday, December 15, 2021, according to court documents.

According to prosecutors, Griffin could face 10 years to life in prison on each of the three counts he is charged with. Prosecutors also indicated in court documents they seek to seize property they say Griffin used while carrying out his crimes. They will seek the forfeiture of his Vermont home, his ownership interest in the LLC used to buy it, a red Tesla Model X, a 2018 Mercedes-Benz GTA and the “computers, computer storage media, devices, phones, cameras, MicroSD cards, images and videos seizes from the defendant on or about September 2, 2020,” according to court records.

“Acting United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt commended the investigatory efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the vital assistance of both the Ludlow, Vermont Police Department and the Henderson, Nevada Police Department,” the press release from his office said. The release added, “The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an indictment contains allegations only and that Griffin remains presumed innocent until and unless he is convicted of a crime.” Ophardt’s office did not immediately respond to questions about whether anyone else could be facing charges in connection to the case or if the investigation is ongoing.

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