Chris Cuomo plans to sue CNN for $18 million to $20 million, the remaining amount on his four-year contract.
A source told the New York Post that CNN has “no intention of paying Cuomo a penny” because lawyers from Cravath, Swaine & Moore advised the network it had legal grounds to fire Cuomo.
CNN terminated Cuomo on Saturday following new information in his efforts to assist his brother, Andrew Cuomo, after a series of sexual harassment allegations. In addition, CNN was notified of an unspecified sexual misconduct allegation against Chris Cuomo last week.
If the matter goes to court, the language in Cuomo’s contract should dictate the outcome. Namely, CNN often includes a standard morality clause in its talent contracts that allows the network to fire the employee if he does anything of disrepute.
Still, Chris Cuomo’s spokesman says CNN President Jeff Zucker knew “about the details of Mr. Cuomo’s support for his brother. And there were no secrets about this, as other individuals besides Mr. Cuomo can attest.” Cuomo’s team adds that the “apparently anonymous [sexual misconduct] allegations are not true.”
So the Cuomo headache for CNN is not over.
In the meantime, Michael Smerconish will fill in at 9 pm on CNN for the remainder of the week. Monday, CNN told staff it had not made a long-term decision on Cuomo’s successor.
The New York Post adds that both CNN and Chris Cuomo’s spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Related story at OutKick: 5 Replacement Candidates for Chris Cuomo on CNN.