Report: Chris Cuomo Getting Ready to Sue CNN

Chris Cuomo has hired attorneys and is getting ready to file a lawsuit against CNN unless the news network upholds the rest of his four-year contract following their decision to terminate the host, according to a Monday report.

The New York Post reports:

CNN is bracing for a legal battle with fired host Chris Cuomo over his contract, sources said Monday — after a bitter back-and-forth about what the network knew of his secret efforts to aid his embattled brother, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo. […]

The deal is reportedly worth $6 million annually. But CNN has “no intention of paying [Chris] Cuomo a penny,” an insider said. “If he gets a settlement, there would be uproar,” the source added. Another source said, “CNN has a standard morality clause in their contract that says if the employee does anything of disrepute, they can be immediately fired.”

CNN announced Saturday that it had fired Cuomo following an investigation into his campaign to assist in the defense of his brother, disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who resigned in August over sexual harassment and misconduct allegations. The fired CNN host is said to have a sexual misconduct allegation against him as well, which may have contributed to his firing, an attorney representing his accuser stated.

“Hearing the hypocrisy of Chris Cuomo’s on-air words and disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women, my client retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN,” lawyer Debra Katz said in a statement. “My client came forward at this time because she felt in sharing her story and related documentation, she could help protect other women.”

Initially, CNN suspended Cuomo indefinitely on Tuesday, only to later fire him “effective immediately” after a law firm investigated the matter.

“While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light,” the network said in a statement. “Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.”

Cuomo took to social media to react to his firing by thanking his staff.

 “This is not how I want my time at CNN to end but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother,” he wrote. “So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”

CNN initially said it “appreciated the unique position” Chris Cuomo was in and “understood his need to put family first and job second” when he admitted he broke the network’s rules in aiding his brother’s defense.

However, the network moved to suspend him after New York Attorney General Letitia James released new documents including text messages between Chris Cuomo and Melissa DeRosa, a top aide to his brother in which he said he would use his “sources” in news media to alert his brother’s team of stories featuring new accusations.

The UPI contributed to this report. 

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