Chris Cuomo asks for $125 million for ‘illegal’ termination of CNN

Chris Cuomo wants an arbitrator to award him $125 million for his firing from CNN, saying his bosses were well aware of how he advised his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and suggested they do the same themselves.

His request for arbitration on Wednesday exposed more ugliness on the net, where Cuomo,CNN chief Jeff Zuckerand its adjoining principal,Allison Gollustwere laid off in the last three months.

zuckerfired Cuomohost of the network’s most popular primetime show, in December after a report by the New York attorney general publicly revealed new details about how he helped his brother strategize to fight sexual harassment allegations.

“It should be obvious by now that Chris Cuomo did not lie to CNN about helping his brother,” said his attorney, Bryan Freedman. “In fact, as the limited information released by the Warner Media investigation makes clear, CNN’s highest-level executives not only knew about Chris’s involvement in helping his brother, but also actively assisted the governor, both through Chris as well as directly themselves.”

There was no comment Wednesday from a representative for Zucker and Gollust. The spokeswoman, Risa Heller, has denied in the past that Gollust, Governor Cuomo’s former press officer, offered advice or counsel to the governor while working at CNN.

CNN declined to comment on the presentation.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Chris Cuomo interviewed his older brother on CNN nine times, a temporary lifting of the network’s policy that Chris Cuomo will not participate in stories related to the governor.

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In his presentation Wednesday, Chris Cuomo said CNN’s leadership demanded the interviews even though he and his brother had expressed reservations about it.

He said Zucker and Gollust tried to strengthen the network’s ties with their brother and pressured the governor of New York not to appear on other networks. He said the governor was asked to hold his daily briefings at a time when CNN’s ratings needed a boost.

“The network standards were changed in a calculated decision to boost ratings,” Freedman said. “When those practices were called into question, Chris became the scapegoat.”

Cuomo also dragged two former colleagues into his complaint, saying Don Lemon and Jake Tapper were never disciplined for incidents seen as ethical lapses: Lemon texted Jussie Smollett when the actor was accused of making false accusations of a racist attack. , and Tapper allegedly offered advice to a politician.

The network standards were "a moving target"modified as Zucker and Gollust saw fit, the former host of "Cuomo Prime Time" in the complaint.

With his journalistic integrity “unjustifiably tainted,” Cuomo will find it difficult to find work in his field in the future and is seeking $125 million in damages, according to the complaint.

Zucker resigned under pressure earlier this year after it was revealed that he violated corporate practices by not disclosing his affair with Gollust. She was expelled shortly after.

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