Three months after Chris Cuomo was fired from CNN, the fallen star anchor has commenced retaliation. The former Cuomo Prime Time host wants $125M from the network, claiming he’s owed the money, and that the network dragged his name in the gutter.
According to an arbitration demand obtained by Deadline, Cuomo “has had his journalistic integrity unjustifiably smeared, making it difficult if not impossible for Cuomo to find similar work in the future.”
Cuomo arrived at the astronomical $125 million sum based on lost back pay, bonuses, and future earnings, according to the filing. And the deposed prime time king is especially incensed that his former colleagues yapped about him on the air following his departure.
“As a direct result of CNN’s calculated efforts to tar and feather him,” the demand states, “Cuomo is now untouchable in the world of broadcast journalism, effectively bringing his storied career end and costing him decades of earnings.”
Cuomo was canned by the network on December 4 for coaching his brother, ex-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, through a sexual harassment investigation. As the New York Times reported, texts released by the former governor “revealed a more intimate and engaged role in his brother’s political affairs than the network said it had previously known.”
“It should be obvious by now that Chris Cuomo did not lie to CNN about helping his brother,” his lawyer, Bryan Freedman tells Politico. “In fact, as the limited information released from [CNN’s parent company] WarnerMedia’s investigation makes clear, CNN’s highest-level executives not only knew about Chris’ involvement in helping his brother but also actively assisted the governor, both through Chris and directly themselves.”
Of course, Cuomo’s not the only one who departed the company on the eve of WarnerMedia’s $43 billion merger with Discovery.
On February 2, Cuomo’s former boss, president of CNN Worldwide Jeff Zucker, quit when it was discovered that he’d neglected to mention his office romance with chief marketing officer Allison Gollust to investigators looking into Cuomo’s alleged wrongdoing. Gollust resigned on Feb. 20.
Zucker left in as dignified a fashion as possible under the circumstances, negotiating a $5 million exit deal—although that money was already owed to him as a 2021 bonus.
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