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Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo reportedly wants a settlement worth up to $60 million from his former employer.
Cuomo was fired after it was revealed he advised his former New York governor brother Andrew on his media strategy following the state’s attorney general’s report finding he sexually harassed 11 different women.
The ex-anchor, 56, who hosted Cuomo Prime Time from 2017 until last December, believes that former network head Jeff Zucker was forced out because he knew he helped Andrew.
Sources now tell Page Six that the disgraced host wants $60 million, far more than the $18 million left on his contract, because former Zucker reportedly knew that he was still in touch with his brother during the scandal.
‘He wants “Megyn Kelly money”,’ one source said, referring to the former Fox News host who was paid the full $69 million in her contract when she parted ways with NBC after a scandal over a segment discussing blackface in 2018.
Zucker, 56, resigned on February 2, citing his failure to tell the company about a relationship he was having with a network executive.
‘Chris insists he never did anything for his brother Andrew that Zucker didn’t know about. His camp believes Zucker wasn’t fired for an inappropriate relationship with Allison Gollust. Everybody knew about that and nobody cared,’ a source told Page Six.
‘What he believes happened is WarnerMedia found something in their investigation into Chris, perhaps internal memos or documents which revealed more about Zucker’s involvement with Andrew Cuomo. Gollust was just a convenient excuse.’
Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo wants a settlement worth up to $60 million from the network after they fired him in December, sources tell Page Six
The former Cuomo Prime Time host was fired after it was found that he helped coach his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, through a sexual harassment scandal
Zucker resigned last week after the Chris Cuomo scandal, which brought to light his relationship with executive Allison Gollust (right in 2011), an ‘open secret’ at the network
Zucker previously said that Cuomo wouldn’t get a severance package, but WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar declined to address the issue during a virtual meeting with CNN’s New York-based hosts on Monday.
Sources tell Page Six that Zucker knew that Chris was still in contact with his brother Andrew throughout the scandal, and that he personally made sure that Andrew made regular appearances on Chris’s primetime show.
Sources say Zucker ‘coached Andrew Cuomo [on] what to say in his press conferences, particularly how to hit back at President Donald Trump. He advised him when, and where, and what to say. He chastised Andrew if he appeared on other networks.
‘When this all finally comes out, it will put an end to the big cry fest going on at CNN over Zucker’s ousting.’
During a meeting between Kilar and CNN’s DC newsroom last week, host Jake Tapper alluded to the theory that Cuomo leaked information about Zucker’s relationship with an executive to secure a better exit package, according to New York Times media reporter Michael Grynbaum.
‘An outsider observer might say, well it looks like Chris Cuomo succeeded. He threatened, Jeff said we don’t negotiate with terrorists, and Chris blew up the place. How do we get past that perception that this is the bad guy winning?’ Tapper asked.
During a virtual meeting on Monday, Erin Burnett, who hosts CNN’s 7pm hour, said she and her colleagues were ‘grieving’ and demanded more information about Zucker’s departure.
‘He wants Megyn Kelly money,’ one source said about Cuomo, referring to the former Fox News host who was paid the full $69 million in her contract when she parted ways with NBC in 2018
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar was grilled by CNN’s New York-based anchors during a virtual meeting on Monday to discuss the ouster of CNN president Jeff Zucker
‘Moving on will require answers to these questions,’ she said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A source added: ‘Chris intends to fight for every dollar on his contract, and loss of income from the 15 to 20 years left in his career, had Zucker not orchestrated a “f***-job” on him. He could ask for as much as $80 million but CNN isn’t going to pay that. But there’s an argument he could ask for as much as $60 million.’
Another source told Page Six: ‘Chris is telling people in the Hamptons he was wrongly fired, humiliated, his career has been ruined, and he wants Megyn Kelly money.’
Meanwhile, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo regrets resigning over ‘bogus’ claims he sexually harassed multiple women, and says he will not rule out running again but only once he has ‘exposed’ Attorney General Letitia James for going after him.
Cuomo stepped down last year after James issued a long report which labeled him a serial sex harasser.
She based her findings on the accounts of 11 women who said Cuomo had at best made them feel uncomfortable or at worst, groped them.
A criminal charge against him has since been dropped, and the last of five criminal investigations ended last week after a District Attorney in upstate New York ruled that there was insufficient legal grounds to bring criminal charges.
He has always maintained his innocence and says he stepped down because he did not want to be a ‘distraction’ for the state.
Now, he says he regrets that decision and should have stood his ground. He also believes that James is responsible for the turmoil at CNN.
Chris Cuomo was fired by the network for helping Andrew, his older brother, through the sex pest scandal. In his revenge, Chris revealed to CNN top bosses last week that the network’s long-serving president, Jeff Zucker, has been having an affair with his top aide for several years.
Now, both Chris Cuomo and Jeff Zucker are out at CNN and Andrew Cuomo is no longer in office.
In an interview with Bloomberg published on Monday, he said: ‘I never resigned because I said I did something wrong.
‘I said, I’m resigning because I don’t want to be a distraction.
‘It turns out in a remarkably short period of time that it did become all bogus. 11 became zero.
‘If you do an honest summary, which is what I get from people on the street, I have been vindicated,’ he said, referring to the 11 women who accused him in the original report.
He believes James was politically motivated to remove him from office – something that was briefly confirmed when James announced she was considering running for Governor – and he wants to ‘expose’ her for it.
Out of work: Andrew Cuomo resigned last year from the New York Governor’s Office after the AG report labeled him a ‘serial sexual harasser’. His brother Chris, right, was fired by CNN in December over revelations that emerged because of the AG probe
Cuomo blames his downfall on Letitia James, who said she may run for Governor after he resigned than walked it back
‘[The report] hurt a lot of people in a lot of different ways. And it was a brand of ugly politics like I had never seen before,’ he told Bloomberg, adding that his brother’s firing was more upsetting to him than his own resignation.
Cuomo added that AG James worked against the #MeToo movement by unfairly weaponizing it.
‘I think what they did here undermines the MeToo movement and the women’s movement and undermines the law. Because when you politicize claims, or trivialize claims, the next woman who has a legitimate claim is going to get painted with the same brush,’ he said.
Brittany Commisso claimed Cuomo groped her breast
He would not rule out running for office again, but said he would only think about doing so once he’d ‘exposed’ James.
‘I’m still focused on communicating what happened here. Because as a precedent, it has to be exposed. Vindication is not the reason to run for office,’ he said.
James maintains that her investigation yielded the truth, even though the criminal charge against Cuomo was dropped.
She told Bloomberg: ‘No one, including Andrew Cuomo, can dispute the fact that multiple investigations found allegations of sexual harassment against him to be credible.
‘Only he is to blame for inappropriately touching his own staff and then quitting so he didn’t have to face impeachment. His baseless attacks won’t change the reality — Andrew Cuomo is a serial sexual harasser.’
The allegations against Cuomo were mostly non-physical.