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Disgraced former CNN host Chris Cuomo continues to seek revenge against his former employer and coworkers, including even his longtime bromance lover, Don Lemon.
In a stunning court filing submitted Wednesday, Cuomo’s attorneys demanded $125 million in compensation from CNN for the damages their client has sustained not only from his termination but also from the smear campaign he alleges that his co-workers, including Lemon, have perpetrated against him.
“Cuomo has had his journalistic integrity unjustifiably smeared, making it difficult if not impossible for Cuomo to find similar work in the future and damaging him in amounts exceeding $125 million, which includes not only the remaining salary owed under the Agreement, but future wages lost as a result of CNN’s efforts to destroy his reputation in violation of the Agreement,” the filing reads.
The “Agreement” is presumed to be Cuomo’s work contract.
As previously reported, Cuomo was fired after disgraced former CNN head Jeff Zucker was busted for having an affair with his second-in-command, Allison Gollust. An investigation into the affair revealed that all three of them — Zucker, Gollust and Cuomo — had worked in concert to boost the public profile of Cuomo’s brother, disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Dovetailing back to the filing, it includes a “full account of CNN’s smear campaign conducted in direct violation of the express terms of the Agreement.”
“This campaign led to widespread news coverage that ultimately made Cuomo an outcast from the world of journalism,” the filing states.
This is where Lemon and Cuomo’s other former colleagues enter the picture. The filing complains that after his termination, said colleagues all rushed to impugn his alleged so-called “journalistic standards.”
“Jake Tapper, a CNN anchor, publicly assailed Cuomo’s ethics as a journalist and falsely claimed that Cuomo ‘threatened’ Zucker. Don Lemon, another CNN anchor, falsely claimed that Cuomo had been ‘found to break with those journalistic standards and then [was] paid handsomely for it,'” the filing reads.
“Brian Stelter, CNN’s chief media correspondent, said Cuomo was ‘acting like an unpaid staffer’ for Gov. Cuomo and had been ‘trying to burn the place down’ after CNN terminated him. Countless anonymous CNN staffers slammed Cuomo in the press, calling him ‘both journalistically and morally immoral,’ saying ‘his biggest crime was he lied to Zucker,’ and labeling him ‘toxic and distracting.'”
But, Cuomo’s attorneys argue, none of them had any room to talk.
“As long as Zucker and Gollust believed CNN’s ratings would benefit, they were more than willing to disregard breaches of traditional journalistic standards by CNN personalities, such as Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, or even to engage in blatant breaches of journalistic ethics themselves,” the filing reads.
“For example, in November 2021, CNN anchor Don Lemon was widely criticized for a flagrant breach of journalistic ethics when actor Jussie Smollett testified at trial that Lemon had texted him to warn him that Chicago police did not believe Smollett’s allegations of suffering a racist, homophobic attack.”
Yet despite this clear-cut violation, Lemon faced zero consequences of his actions.
“Lemon had covered Smollett’s accusations and his subsequent investigation and prosecution, so intervening in the ongoing investigation by texting Smollett was an inexcusable breach of ethics. Yet CNN did nothing; Lemon was not disciplined in any way,” the filing notes.
Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” late Wednesday about the filing, host Tucker Carlson couldn’t help but laugh at the inanity of it all.
“It was not that long ago that Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo were like brothers, inseparable at CNN,” he noted.
Indeed, though some would say they were more like lovers:
“Oh, but that’s all over, and the breakup is nasty. Today Chris Cuomo accused former colleagues at CNN, including Don Lemon and the eunuch [Brian Stelter], of smearing him,” Carlson continued.
“In a court filing, Chris Cuomo’s lawyers wrote this, quote, Don Lemon falsely claimed that Cuomo had been found to break with journalistic standards,'” he added, bursting into laughter at the notion of Lemon “adjudicating journalistic standards.”
Lemon has a history of being extremely opinionated for a “journalist.”
Carlson’s guest, radio show host Vince Coglianese, argued that the way Cuomo and Lemon have so quickly turned against one another proves that their liberal bromance was all “a lie.”
“Here’s what really was going on: Chris Cuomo was the only guy who had any semblance of ratings at CNN. Don Lemon would have him on his show for a huge portion of the show during what we call the hand-off, and the reason for that was because Don Lemon desperately needed ratings help. So the two of them would act like they love each other,” Coglianese said.
“But the second Chris Cuomo is out on his tail, the first person arguing to cut him off from his severance is Don Lemon. Don Lemon is saying in CNN meetings ‘don’t pay this guy he doesn’t deserve a dime.’ And so Chris Cuomo, maybe he had some affection, ‘but’ boy, he’s been betrayed now, and so what he’s done is filed this lawsuit.”
He wasn’t kidding about Lemon pushing for Cuomo’s severance to be cut, though he was exaggerating slightly.
During a staff meeting in February, Lemon reportedly asked WarnerMedia Chief Executive Jason Kilar whether he’d “weighed the signals he might be sending by compensating individuals who break with company standards,” as reported at the time by The Wall Street Journal.
“Did you think about what message it sends to the journalists in the company and also to the larger public that someone can be found to break with those journalistic standards and then get paid handsomely for it?” he asked.
FYI, it’s likely no coincidence that this is the exact “smear” that Cuomo pointed to in his filing …
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