Chris Cuomo wants CNN and the network's parent company, Turner Services Inc., to pay $125 million stemming from his "unlawful termination" in Dec. 2021. The former Cuomo Prime Time anchor was suspended indefinitely, then fired, for aiding his brother, Andrew Cuomo, amid the former New York governor's sexual harassment scandal.
In a demand for arbitration filing, lawyers for the journalist say Cuomo was wrongfully let go amid "false claims" that he "violated CNN's standards and practices" by helping his brother "during a time of personal and political crisis." They also accuse the network of conducting a "smear campaign." Chris is seeking $15 million for salary he says is owed for the remainder of his contract and no less than $110 million in "consequential damages."
"Cuomo has had his journalistic integrity unjustifiably smeared, making it difficult if not impossible for Cuomo to find similar work in the future and damaging him in amounts exceeding $125 million," the document states, claiming he lost "future wages" as "a result of CNN's efforts to destroy his reputation in violation."
"Turner's unjustifiable termination of Cuomo reflects nothing more than an apparent rush to judgment and caving to uninformed public and internal pressure that was based on speculation and assumption rather than facts and evidence," the document adds.
As for who was part of the alleged smear campaign, making Cuomo out "as a dishonest, unethical liar," the arbitration filing names CNN anchors Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper and Don Lemon. It also names former president, Jeff Zucker, and ex-marketing executive, Allison Gollust. Zucker resigned in February for not disclosing his relationship with Gollust. (She previously worked for the governor.) Gollust resigned weeks later.
“CNN, including Zucker and Gollust, knew of Cuomo's role as a confidant and sounding board to his brother," the filing says. "Cuomo had no reason to believe that his assistance to Gov. Cuomo was inconsistent with CNN's or Turner’s policies nor its expectations, especially given the fact that Zucker and Gollust had encouraged him to do so and had themselves provided advice to Gov. Cuomo."
The document calls out the "entirely fabricated" sexual misconduct allegation against Cuomo, claiming "the timing" strongly "suggests it had the objective of battering Cuomo with false accusations while he was already on the ropes."
Yahoo Entertainment reached out to attorneys representing CNN and Turner but did not immediately receive a response.
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