Former host Chris Cuomo is seeking more than $125 million in an arbitration filing against CNN, saying the network was wrong to fire him. Cuomo was dropped in December, with CNN citing his involvement in helping his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, combat sexual harassment allegations. The governor resigned last August. The arbitration filing says that Chris Cuomo's role was no surprise to the network and that he was truthful about it with his bosses, NBC News reports. The investigation by WarnerMedia, the parent company, found as much, his lawyers said. "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," Bryan Freedman said.
The governor often appeared on Chris Cuomo's show in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Freedman said, without network objection. "As CNN has admitted, network standards were changed in a calculated decision to boost ratings," he said. "When those practices were called into question, Chris was made the scapegoat." The filing says CNN's handling of the situation damaged Cuomo's reputation as a journalist, making it difficult for him to find a new job. So the $125 million covers future earnings as well as the salary called for in his terminated contract, the filing says. CNN has not filed its case yet, and a spokesman declined to comment Wednesday. Although it's in arbitration now, the case could instead go to court, per Rolling Stone. Cuomo also wants an apology, the filing says. (Read more Chris Cuomo stories.)