Chris Cuomo has lawyered up after being fired from his job at CNN, reports say.
The New York Post said Cuomo could seek the roughly $18 million left on his contract.
He hired the lawyer who managed Megyn Kelly’s lucrative exit from NBC, Puck News reported.
Chris Cuomo hired a lawyer to sue CNN for $18 million, the remaining value of his former contract with the network, several reports said.
On Saturday night, CNN announced that it had fired Cuomo, its top primetime anchor, in light of new information about how he helped his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, to fight sexual harassment allegations.
Documents from the New York Attorney General’s office showed that Chris Cuomo’s efforts went further than he had initially claimed. It included using media sources to learn more about one of his brother’s accusers, as Insider’s Azmi Haroun, Charles Davis, and Jake Lahut reported.
Freedman’s company did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
According to the Post, Cuomo seeks to secure the remainder of the salary in his contract with CNN. The anchor signed his latest contract with CNN in April 2020, according to Variety.
That four-year contract was worth $6 million annually, the Post reported, meaning Cuomo will be looking for a further $18 million if he litigates with CNN.
Bryan Freedman is a high-profile entertainment lawyer. His firm, Freedman + Taitelman, has handled cases for Kevin Spacey, Michael Jackson’s estate, and Megyn Kelly.
Kelly’s case bears some comparison to Cuomo’s. She left NBC midway through her contract in acrimonious circumstances in 2019, but secured its full $69 million value through her lawyer, CNN reported.
Cuomo may also seek damages, the Post reported. It also cited an unnamed CNN source who said the network had “no intention of paying Cuomo a penny.”
CNN’s contracts have a morality clause which entitles it to fire anyone who sullies its reputation, according to the Post. Representatives for CNN did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
According to Puck News, CNN is working with Daniel Petrocelli, who in 2018 successfully contested a Department of Justice attempt to block a merger of Time Warner and CNN owner AT&T.
Petrocelli’s firm also did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for confirmation.
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