Inside Chris Cuomo’s $125 Million Case Against CNN

Chris Cuomo
Photo by Donald Bowers/Getty Images
Eriq Gardner
March 17, 2022

The arbitration claim filed Wednesday by former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is a remarkable document for a number of reasons. There is, for starters, the headline number—Cuomo is seeking a whopping $125 million after he was fired for helping his brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, to fend off a sexual harassment scandal. According to his lawyers, the nine-figure damages claim would cover not just the $15 million in salary and ratings bonuses that Cuomo was owed for the 19 months remaining on his contract when he was fired, but also the “decades” of earnings that Cuomo presumably would have made, if not for “CNN’s calculated efforts to tar and feather him.”

Even more remarkable is the Cuomo claim that CNN “violated the express terms of his employment agreement by allowing its employees”—former colleagues like Jake Tapper, Don Lemon, and Brian Stelter—“to disparage him.” By this strained logic, one presumes, CNN was contractually obligated not to report on one of the biggest media stories in years. It was CNN’s investigation into Cuomo, after all, that also led to the resignation of the network’s president, Jeff Zucker, and the appointment of new leadership across the news division.