Chris Cuomo demands CNN pay him $125 million in damages after he was fired
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The amount represents the remaining value of his contract plus potential lost wages “as a result of CNN’s efforts to destroy his reputation,” according to paperwork filed with the JAMS mediation and arbitration service.
Approximately $15 million of the money Cuomo is seeking represents the remaining value of his contract.
Through attorneys at Freedman + Taitelman LLP and Clayman Rosenberg Kirshner & Linder, Cuomo claims that his firing was not justified and that former president Jeff Zucker failed to abide by the terms of Cuomo’s contract by not instructing other CNN staffers to not publicly disparage Cuomo.
The claim accuses staffers of waging what it calls a calculated smear campaign against Cuomo.
Cuomo was fired by CNN in December 2021 after it was revealed he testified in a deposition that he assisted his brother, former embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with advice after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Andrew Cuomo.
Chris Cuomo and his attorneys note that CNN management, including Zucker, was aware of Chris’ involvement with his brother’s defense as early as May 2021 and that management was being kept in the loop as the situation continued to escalate.
They argue that given that Zucker and former marketing executive Allison Gollust gave no indications that Chris Cuomo was violating any company policies. The claim goes on to note that, in fact, Zucker and Gollust had encouraged Chris to do so and alleges they even provided advice to Andrew Cuomo.
Zucker and Gollust would both later resign separately after it was revealed they had a consensual intimate relationship but failed to disclose it as per company policy.
Chris Cuomo joined CNN in 2013 as part of Zucker’s efforts to reshape its morning lineup. He was original co-anchor of “New Day,” having previously been a part of “Good Morning America” on ABC.
Chris Cuomo would eventually leave “New Day” to host “Cuomo Prime Time.”
“New Day” continues to rank last among major cable news networks’ morning programming. “Cuomo Prime Time” would grow to become one of the network’s highest rated shows but was canceled after Chris Cuomo was fired.
The legal wrangling comes as WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent, is preparing to merge with Discovery later in the second quarter of 2022.