Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is seeking a $125 million arbitration award, claiming the network wrongly terminated him, his legal team said Wednesday.
Cuomo was let go after it emerged that he played an active role in advising his brother, Andrew Cuomo, when the latter was fighting to stay in office as governor of New York as women accused him of sexual harassment.
"It should, by now, be obvious to everyone that Chris Cuomo did not lie to CNN about helping his brother," Chris Cuomo's attorney Bryan Freedman said in a statement.
"In fact, as the limited information released from WarnerMedia’s 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 and directly themselves."
Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation as governor in August, and questions were raised about whether his brother might have crossed journalism ethics lines to help him. CNN fired Chris Cuomo in December.
During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Gov. Cuomo was a frequent on-air guest of his brother's, a cozy relationship that Freedman said clearly had CNN's blessing.
"As CNN has admitted, network standards were changed in a calculated decision to boost ratings. When those practices were called into question, Chris was made the scapegoat," Freedman said.
"The legal action filed today makes clear that CNN wrongfully terminated Chris and further violated the express terms of his employment agreement by allowing its employees to disparage him. Chris is owed a full apology from those responsible."
A representative of CNN declined to comment Wednesday.