Fired Chris Cuomo to sue CNN over massive paycheck as he mirrors Andrew's pension bid

Disgraced anchor to sue network for $18M left on his contract, claiming president Jeff Zucker knew about his activities, but CNN unwilling to cough up


                            Fired Chris Cuomo to sue CNN over massive paycheck as he mirrors Andrew's pension bid
Chris Cuomo attends the WarnerMedia Upfront 2019 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2019, in New York City. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Five months ago MEAWW reported that despite leaving in disgrace, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo would be entitled to a pension in excess of $50,000 per year for having served his term. At the time, the news did cause quite a storm, but little could be done about it since he was eligible under state law. Fast forward to December 2021, and it seems Andrew's brother Chris Cuomo might be in store for something similar.

The embattled ex-CNN anchor was booted from the network after it was revealed he used his media contacts to dig up dirt on brother's Andrew's accusers and help draft responses to the sexual assault allegations against him. Adding to that, the host is facing his own sexual harassment accusations, from his time with ABC. But it appears he's in no mood to go down without a fight. Chris is reportedly hiring lawyers to sue the network for the remainder of the money he is owed under his contract. 

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But, while the State of New York may be forced to cough up Andrew's pension, CNN appears to have a choice in whether or not to honor Chris' contract, and according to sources, it seems like they aren't in any mood to play ball. Chris may be entitled to $18 million more, but it appears he's going to have to put up a fight for it.

Moderator Chris Cuomo speaks at a town hall forum hosted by CNN at Drake University on January 25, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

Chris Cuomo prepping for legal battle

On December 6, sources told The New York Post that Chris is preparing to file a lawsuit after the network balked at paying him. In 2020, he signed a fresh four-year deal that was worth $6 million annually. That means, he's still got three years, and $16 million more to receive. But given that he's been booted under a cloud of scandal, it appears CNN doesn't want to cough up. An insider said the network has "no intention of paying (Chris) Cuomo a penny," adding, "If he gets a settlement, there would be uproar." Benjamin Eghbali, CEO of law firm Eghbali, said CNN could be on the hook for "seven figures" unless it successfully distances itself from the scandal-hit anchor.

A saving grace for CNN is that they have a "standard morality clause in their contract that says if the employee does anything of disrepute, they can be immediately fired." But what's less clear is what the clause means for Chris' money. The ex-anchor has reportedly already hired lawyers and is working on the suit at the time of reporting, so it could be filed any day now. Chris is also claiming CNN President Jeff Zucker knew about his efforts on his brother's behalf, which could add a further layer of complexity to the case.

"There were no secrets about this, as other individuals besides Mr. Cuomo can attest," a spokesperson for the anchor said. In response, CNN slammed, "If Jeff had known all along, Chris would have been fired earlier, not suspended." It's clear that things are going to get dirty, and also extremely public as Chris chases his money. In the meantime, CNN is also preparing for an internal investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct against Chris. 

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