Alan Dershowitz says he thinks Chris Cuomo will win his $18 million contract fight with CNN

A side-by-side collage of head-and-shoulders views of Chris Cuomo (left) and Alan Dershowitz (right) on air.
Chris Cuomo (right) on CNN in August. Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax in December.CNN; Newsmax; YouTube; Insider
  • Alan Dershowitz said Chris Cuomo was likely to win if he sued CNN over his firing.

  • Reports say Cuomo plans to sue for the remaining value of his CNN contract, which the firing ended.

  • Dershowitz is hardly a neutral party since he's suing CNN himself.

Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz said he believed Chris Cuomo would win a lawsuit against CNN in the wake of his firing.

Reports have suggested that Cuomo is considering pursuing CNN for $18 million, said to be the remaining value of his multiyear contract with the network.

Dershowitz, a Harvard professor emeritus, said in an interview on the right-leaning network Newsmax that Cuomo, CNN's former top anchor, hadn't misled anyone during his time there.

Cuomo was fired on Saturday over the help he gave his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid sexual-harassment allegations against the latter.

Cuomo apologized on air in May for coaching his brother and his political team through the allegations, saying he had never hidden it.

But legal filings released by the New York attorney general's office in November indicated that he also leveraged his position as a powerful journalist to assist his brother.

In its announcement of the firing, CNN cited "additional information" that preceded it — a possible reference to sexual-harassment allegations against Cuomo, which the former anchor has denied.

On Monday, the New York Post and Puck reported that Cuomo planned to sue the network, with the Post saying he would seek the roughly $18 million remaining on his contract. Cuomo did not respond to Insider's request for confirmation of this.

Following those reports, Jeff Zucker, CNN's president, told employees that the network wouldn't pay Cuomo any severance, The Week reported.

Speaking to Newsmax on Tuesday, Dershowitz said he was confident that Cuomo would win any litigation.

"I think he's going to get his $18 million, and I bless him for going forward and trying to hold CNN responsible for malpractice reporting, breaking contracts, and applying a double standard," he told Newsmax's Sean Spicer.

He did not fully explain the details of the alleged wrongdoing by CNN.

CNN did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Dershowitz has his own fight with the network: a long-running $300 million defamation lawsuit in which Dershowitz said CNN misleadingly edited his statements on former President Donald Trump's legal position when he was representing him in 2020.

Dershowitz told Spicer that Zucker was the person who should be fired, and that he hoped Cuomo wins.

Zucker, he said, encouraged Cuomo's "love fest" with his brother on CNN when ratings on the network were falling. This was likely a reference to the fawning interviews Cuomo conducted with his brother in the summer of 2020, held before Andrew was accused of sexual assault.

"There's no way that Chris Cuomo misled CNN," Dershowitz continued. "CNN was responsible for the decision to keep him on the air."

"If they thought that the viewers would be misled, they should have said, 'Look, you're going to be off the air during the time of the investigation.' It was Zucker's decision to make, not Cuomo's decision," he said.

Dershowitz added, "They might not have known a detail here and there, but that's not enough to fire somebody."

In March, after sexual-assault allegations against Andrew broke, Cuomo said he would not cover his brother's case. He said he would not be able to do so objectively. Brian Stelter, CNN's chief media correspondent, later said CNN had instructed Cuomo not to mention his brother.

Morality clauses are vague, Dershowitz said, in reference to the clause CNN is said to have cited in Cuomo's firing.

Dershowitz doubled down on his views in a written op-ed for Newsmax that was also published on Tuesday.

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