Former CNN prime time anchor Chris Cuomo has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against CNN.
He is seeking $125 million in damages and has revealed behind-the-scenes allegations against the network, claiming it changed its standards and practices guidelines frequently in accordance with ratings and convenience.
Cuomo was suspended, then fired, from his longtime job at CNN in December, following allegations he had advised his brother, former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, on navigating the fallout from the sexual harassment accusations against him last year.
The new lawsuit claims CNN changed its rules to accommodate ratings, allowing Chris Cuomo to interview his brother on air, in spite of previous company rules banning him from interviewing his brother, when the former governor gained popularity for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” said Cuomo’s attorney, Bryan Freedman.
The suit further alleges former CNN president, Jeff Zucker, who was ousted over his undisclosed relationship with former CMO Alison Gollust, had then-governor Cuomo move his COVID-19 press briefings to the middle of the afternoon in order to boost the network’s lagging ratings in the time slot.
“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,” Freedman said.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: HOLLYWOOD REPORTER